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Simhadri thermal power plant Andhra Pradesh, India


Description:

Simhadri thermal power plant, has an installed capacity of 1,000 MW, was dedicated to the nation on February 2004 by the then Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. The plant supplies its entire power to the State grid of Andhra Pradesh[1].

In June 2012, a huge protest took place. Fisher folk and villagers from villages near the Simhadri thermal power plant of National Thermal Power Corporation staged protest in front of the plant demanding jobs in the power plant and Pharma City. They alleged that the fly ash from the power plant and effluents from the Pharma City were polluting the Bay of Bengal and affecting their livelihood as the catch declined drastically [2]. More than 10 fishermen and others were injured while they were demonstrating. The demonstration turned violent as the fishermen started throwing stones at the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel. Then, the CISF opened several rounds of fire in the air to quell the mob at the project site. Fishermen from the nearby villages tried to stall pipeline-laying work for the seawater pump house project for second phase of NTPC Simhadri thermal project [3]. Even school going children of four villages also joined the agitation and raised slogans against the management of NTPC and Pharma City, as well as students, who also took out a rally and burnt the NTPC Simhadri plant and Pharma City in effigy [2].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Simhadri thermal power plant Andhra Pradesh, India
Country:India
State or province:Andhra Pradesh
Location of conflict:P.O. Simhadri; Dist. Vishakhapatnam
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Land
Electricity
Coal

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Locate at P.O. Simhadri-531 020, Dist. Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh was set up with an initial investment of Rs.3650.79 Cr.(I Qtr.97). The project was approved in 24.07.1997. Approved Capacity/Installed Capacity of the plant is 2000 MW. Plant Configuration is 4X500 MW. The project is based on 3384.24 acres of land. Coal is sourced from Kalinga Block of Talcher Coal fields in Orrisa. Water for the plant was sourced from Yeluru canal for sweet water, Sea water for CW system. Power is supplied to Andhra Pradesh only [4].

Project area:1370
Level of Investment:$ 587,820,312 (Rs.3650.79)
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:National Thermal Power Corporation from India
Relevant government actors:Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Visakhapatnam District Fisheries CoOperative Society Limited

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
School children of four villages joined the agitation and raised slogans against the management of NTPC and Pharma City. Students also took out a rally and burnt the NTPC Simhadri plant and Pharma City in effigy [2]
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Strikes

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Soil contamination
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:Visakhapatnam District Fisheries Co-Operative Society Limited demanded that at least one member of every fishermans family should be employed in NTPC Simhadri project and Pharma City in addition to a monthly monetary compensation to fisherfolk aged above 60 [2].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The people of nearby villages are agitated over the pollution caused by the fly ash generated at the plant. They complain that it has become virtually impossible for them to live in the villages with this high level of pollution. The managements of NTPC and Phara City have utterly failed to reduce pollution. The fishermen in particular allege that fisheries resources are being destroyed due to the pollution and their livelihood is adversely affected [3]. The district administration is yet to take steps for the welfare of fisher folk who have been staging protests[2]
Villagers assembled near the plant and sought jobs. The officials explained to them that providing contract labourer jobs to all was not possible and only the eligible among them would get employment, they left and a little later again assembled at the same spot in large numbers and staged a demonstration [3]
Following public outcry, the AP Pollution Control Board (PCB) issued notices to NTPC Simhadri power plant for violating pollution control norms and ordered the thermal power plant management to set aside Rs 3 crore as bank guarantee towards the welfare measures of the affected people. However, the NTPC authorities had a discussion with PCB officials and assured to provide Rs 2 crore bank guarantee [5].

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislationsĀ - Juridical texts related to the conflict

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
http://envfor.nic.in/legis/air/air1.html

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Power Sector in Andhra Pradesh during August 2012
http://www.pmger.org/updates/August_2012.pdf

LinksĀ to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Simhadri plant to be dedicated to nation today
http://www.thehindubusinessline.in/2004/02/09/stories/2004020901341300.htm

[2] Fisherfolk protest against power plant
http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/article311835.ece#.UxAcROOSzsQ

[3] Fishermen protest near NTPC-Simhadri thermal station turns violent
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/fishermen-protest-near-ntpcsimhadri-thermal-station-turns-violent/article3581485.ece

[4] Simhadri
http://ntpc.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=307&Itemid=175&lang=en

[5] PCB notice to Simhadri power plant
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/PCB-notice-to-Simhadri-power-plant/articleshow/12077594.cms?referral=PM

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Simhadri thermal power save AP power crisis - Tv9
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBYGjwZP9cc

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update03/05/2014