Normalcy returns to trouble-hit areas in Srikakulam district

After several days of violent protests against an upcoming thermal power plant, normalcy has returned to the trouble-hit villages in Srikakulam district.

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 18:13 PM IST

Visakhapatnam: After several days of violent
protests against an upcoming thermal power plant, normalcy has
returned to the trouble-hit villages in Srikakulam district.

No protests were witnessed in the villages of
Vadditandra, HN Peta, Akasa Lakkaavaram, Kakarapalli and
surrounding areas for the last three days. The government
earlier suspended the construction activities of the company
as demanded by the villagers.

The villagers of the area are up in the arms against a
thermal power plant, being constructed by by East Coast Energy
Private Limited on about 1,000 acres of land allotted by
government near Kakarapalli.

Two persons were killed and about 25 injured when police
opened fire on agitating villagers at Kakarapalli in
Santhabommali mandal on February 28.

The condition of two persons, who were seriously injured,
was improving now, official sources said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Visakhpatnam) Soumya
Mishra said that peace and normalcy has returned to
the area, and police had withdrawn forces, barring a few
personnel posted to maintain law and order. Restrictions on
the movement of people have been lifted.

District Superintendent of Police, KVV Gopala Rao, too
said the situation was completely under control.

The locals are opposing the power plant on the ground
that it would affect the water bodies in the nearby wetlands
and harm the agriculture too.

It would also hit the sanctuary at Tenineelapuram
village, where Siberian birds visit every year, they said.

In the wake of the firing at Kakarapalli village, the
Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had issued an order
seeking a report from East Coast Energy on compliance of
the conditions for environmental clearance.

It also ordered that the work on the project be suspended
forthwith till the recommendations of the ministry’s Expert
Appraisal Committee (EAC) on thermal power projects was
received.

The EAC will hear both the sides on Monday.

State Government has already ordered a magisterial
inquiry into the circumstances leading to police firing at
Vadditandra.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had also announced an
ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the two persons
killed in the firing.

PTI