Friday, Mar 04, 2005
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By Our Staff Correspondent
UDUPI, MARCH 3. Opposition from the people and the local MLA, Lalaji Mendan, on Thursday led to the stalling of the valuation and survey process for a proposed coal-based power plant at Padubidri and its surroundings areas in Udupi district, for a week.
The Special Land Officer of Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board, Vijaykumari Shenoy, came to Padubidri with a team of officials for conducting a survey of trees, horticultural crops and buildings. She then went to the Padubidri police station for a meeting with police officials.
The public relations officer of Nagarjuna company, M.M. Shetty, was present when she was holding a meeting with the local MLA, Lalaji Mendan, government officials, police officials and representatives of the Nandikur Janajagriti Samiti. There were about 200 policemen and two platoons of KSRP were kept on stand-by at Padubidri to help in the survey works.
Meanwhile, police officials asked presspersons, who had come there to cover the proceedings, to leave the police station premises.
]The people of Padubidri, who had gathered outside the police station, were angry that the officials had allowed the PRO of the company to the meeting, but kept presspersons out. They protested against the move.
At the meeting, Mr. Mendan said that the survey work should not be taken up until the people of the area are taken into confidence on the issue.
Later, Mr. Mendan told presspersons that he called up the Chief Executive Officer of KIADB, Harish Gowda, and told him that the people of the area should be taken into confidence on this issue. Mr. Gowda reportedly said that he would talk to the higher officials and the Minister, till then status quo will be maintained on the issue. He directed the officials to maintain status quo for a week, Mr. Mendan said.
Ms. Shenoy told presspersons that the land valuation works have been completed. The valuation of trees, horticultural crops and buildings will be taken up after a week, she said.
Meanwhile, presspersons under the leadership of the President of Udupi District Working Journalists Association, A. Dinesh Kini, protested at not being allowed to cover the proceedings and lack of transparency. The officials assured the presspersons that such incidents would not occur in the future.
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