AP Villagers Oppose Expansion of APGENCO Power Plant
People’s representatives from 12 villages and various political parties have strongly opposed the expansion programme of the Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Station here. The Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation (APGENCO) power station is gearing up to expand its capacity by 800 MW at its existing 1700 MW capacity power plant. The Pollution Control Board of Andhra Pradesh conducted a public hearing today at the power plant under the Chairmanship of Krishna district collector M Raghunandana Rao to gather the views of the public on the expansion programme. Elected village council heads and local political parties formed a Joint Action Committee to express their objections at the public hearing. The Joint Action Committee has complained to the district collector that they have been facing pollution from the existing thermal power plant and that its ash filled their cultivable lands and village drinking water tanks. They alleged that their agricultural lands became barren lands, after which they lost their livelihood and complained that the power plant’s management also failed to provide basic amenities in adjacent villages as promised earlier, as well as failed to set up a 200-bed hospital exclusively for villagers. The villagers told the district collector that as per the agreement, the power plant management failed to provide jobs to 125 farmers whose lands were acquired and the APGenco management needs another 232 acres for expansion. Later, the district collector addressed villagers and tried to pacify them. He promised that Rs 36 crore would be spent by the management to provide basic amenities in surrounding villages and also to bring up the issue before the government, to set up a hospital to meet villagers’ requirements. The villagers were placated by the collector’s appeal and left the place. APGENCO Director C Radhakrishna and MD K Vijayanand attended on behalf of the company, while MLA and YSR Congress leader J Ramesh supported the villagers. Local Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA Umamaheswara Rao was not present since he was attending the ongoing assembly session in Hyderabad.