Udupi: “Issues related to Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) will be effectively discussed in the cabinet meeting and we are ready for protests if the environment is at stake,” said Vinay Kumar Sorake, Minister for Urban Development and District Minister in-charge. He was addressing the mediapersons at a press meet held at the Press Club here on February 12.
While asked on his stand on the UPLC project, where Rs 11400 crore investment is proposed in Invest Karnataka, Sorake said that the issues will be discussed with the Chief Minister and he will review the issues related to the project.“I have no objection on the power production but the company needs to first address the problem of residents who are affected by the plant,” he added.
The water bodies are being polluted and agricultural land is affected with salt water entering into the fields of farmers. BJP leaders seem to be silent on UPCL, as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is closely associated with Adani group. While he was quizzed on the letter of Department of Industries and Commerce on the proposal for the 1600 MW plant, he said that as model code of conduct was in force he had not been informed on the same, he will discuss the issue with the Deputy Commissioner and Department of Industries and Commerce.
While talks continue with UPCL, CSR fund to Panchayat falling in the area of plant operation was released. The break water which had caused problems in Yellur village was removed. “The beneficiaries who have lost land for the project should be paid compensation and efforts will be made to hold talks with the officials of UPCL to ensure steps are taken to pay compensation to the farmers. I still advise the UPCL to operate gas based electricity generation to avoid environmental hazards,” Sorake said.
While asked on the notification of land acquisition for SUZLON published in a newspaper of Mumbai edition he said he has come across the advertisement and would discuss the matter with the concerned officials.
“We are focusing more on promoting small scale industries in the district, an industrial estate is proposed in Belapu. The education sector is given equal importance, a research centre is coming up in Belapu, Polytechnic College, and ITI will also be setup. Rs 300 crore is utilised for PWD roads, ZP roads are also developed,” he said.
Sorake further said, “Congress has chosen able candidates for the ZP and TP elections. Election campaigns are effectively organised. Candidates are visiting every house to give information on the projects implemented by the state government.”
While asked on the allegation of minorities being neglected in giving tickets for ZP and TP constituencies, Sorake said that the winning factor is evaluated while giving tickets, they will be given chances in the near future.
General Secretary of District Congress Committee, Narasimhamurthy; Habib Ali, Mahabal Kunder, Deviprasad Shetty, Diwakar Shetty and others were present.