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Press release copy contributed by Hareesh Kumar Hejmady
UPCL clarifies against the Reports published in various newspapers on 3rd May 2012 on certain environmental issues, based on the report submitted by one Sri Y B Ramakrishna and Sri Ramachandra. At the outset UPCL denies all the allegations made therein and give below their clarifications for the same. The report is more of academic and without any basis in regard to UPCL.
a.Since, time and again these issues were raised by certain vested interests, an Expert Committee consisting of 6 Members was appointed by the DC, Udupi District, and as a part of the Objectives to ascertain the facts, the Committee Members visited the Plant and other nearby areas. After thorough evaluation and findings, the committee has submitted an interim report and based on their recommendation, to mitigate the issue raised on saline water evaporation by Cooling Tower, drift eliminators are provided. However, subsequently, the above 2 (two) personalities were also included in the Committee as Additional Members and subsequently they were removed by the State Government for the reasons best known to them. The Independent Report prepared and submitted by the Authors are only self-serving and needless to mention that it is based on a biased attitude since the Authors are aggrieved and against parties. The findings and listings in the report are generic not specific to UPCL. The allegations are baseless and motivated with a malafied intentions and contrary to the recorded proof.
b.UPCL project has been well conceived and implemented with the latest proven technology based on imported coal having a very low ash content and UPCL also have the special environmental protection infrastructures like: 275 meters height Chimney, High efficient Electro Static Precipitators for collection of Dry Ash, Flue Gas Desulphurisation plant (FGD), Sewage Treatment Plant, Effluent Treatment Plant and a Desalination Plant. Also, to preserve the River Water, UPCL is drawing Sea Water for the entire water requirement. The Authors of the so-called Independent report, without updating themselves about the present position in the Plant and with a closed-eye like Dritharashtra, now giving recommendation, for the installation of the above equipments, clearly shows that they are not aware of the infrastructure installed for protecting the environment, and this will itself prove their biased attitude against UPCL.
c.UPCL states that both ambient air quality and water quality are being regularly monitored on continuous basis through a third - party, recognised by KSPCB and data are being submitted to KSPCB and MOEF. The results are all well within the stipulated levels, and UPCL has been following and complying with all the directions given by the environment monitoring authorities like KSPCB, and MOEF. Hence, the analysis done by the Authors of Independent Report cannot be relied
upon and taken it as granted for coming to a conclusion, as it is contrary to the factual data monitored and recorded for long time.
d.UPCL states that the imported coal is transported in Wagons duly covered with tarpaulin and no fugitive emission is found. Impervious layers are provided for the Ash Pond and the Coal Stockyard as per the MOEF stipulations and this has been verified by the Members of the Monitoring Committee nominated by the DC. No water is let out from ash pond and the water does not contain heavy metals. Only sea water is sent back to sea after RO processing. Fish catching have increased as per the fisheries record.
e.UPCL reiterates that entire Dakshina Kannada region has been facing low pH water quality for a long period even before the establishment of UPCL for which EIA and other study records are available. Based on the earlier reports, it is evident the pH value in water is comparatively very low in this area and the iron value are very high in some areas. Hence, the allegation that this is the after effect of UPCL is written only with a malafide intention is biased and there are no evidences to support.
f.Technically No hydrocarbons can ooze out from any of the thermal Power Plant and so as the case of UPCL. Also there are no health problems or reduction of population of peafowl, no miscarriage of livestock, no higher crime rate, etc., as alleged in the Report. UPCL has not disrupted any public pathway and in fact they have widened Public Roads in some local areas as per the requests of respective Panchayats. Also it is very much required here to mention that local people have expressed their support for the Project, to the Committee, in writing.
Needless to clarify that a Project like UPCL - formerly known as Nagarjuna Power Corporation Limited, cannot be established without obtaining all the required clearances from the MOEF, KSPCB, and other Statutory Authorities, much less the location i.e. Yellur, and hence the allegation of a different location mentioned in the report is not only totally false but also made to mislead all.
For UDUPI POWER CORPORATION LIMITED
Padubidri, May 18th 2012: In a press release Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. (UPCL) has rejected the findings of the independent report prepared by two experts, Executive Chairman of Karnataka State Bio-fuel Development Board Y.B. Ramakrishna and T.V. Ramachandra of Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Indian Institute of Science. The UPCL claims that the report is baseless, biased and done with wrong intentions.
UPCL press release says "Expert panel report bisased"