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Return our land, farmers ask KVK Energy

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, July 31

Farmers of Athagarh area in Cuttack district want their farm land bought by KVK Energy for setting up of a power plant to be returned to them, citing inordinate delay in the project. Farmers have raised their demand through an open letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

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“We are requesting you to take steps to ensure that KVK Energy, which had acquired our farm lands in 2006 and is yet to construct its plant, returns our lands. We also request you to delete our villages from the process of land acquisition,” a letter written by villagers of Kandarei, Rahangol, Khanduali and Dalua said.

With an investment of Rs 5000 crore KVK Nilachal Power has plans to set up 1400 MW coal-based power project in two phases at Athagarh and requires more than 900 acres.

The Company had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Odisha government on September 26, 2006 for 600 MW capacity, which was later enhanced to 1200 MW through a supplementary MoU in 2008. But it has been facing problems in acquiring land due to opposition by a section of people in Athagarh.

In May 2012, the Odisha High Court had imposed an interim stay on the construction of the power project on grounds of violation of wildlife and forest protection norms based on a petition filed by Charades Krushak Surakhya Sangh represented by its president, Narayan Sahoo.

The court had refused to vacate the stay order in August 2012 .