NTPC Lara project: Odisha urges Centre to address concerns of affected villages

Bhubaneswar: The state government has urged the Centre to sincerely look into the genuine concerns of the people of 27 villages in Jharsuguda district who will be affected by the upcoming super thermal power project of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Lara in Chhattisgarh bordering Odisha.

In a letter to Union minister of Power and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal today, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the1600 (2×800) MW Super Thermal Power Project being set up by NTPC at Lara in Chhattisgarh, which is about 2 km from the border of Odisha, will affect 27 villages of Kandeikela, Remata, Kanaktora, Charpali, Pithinda and Badimal gram panchayats of Lakhanpur block in Jharsuguda district, which will be adversely affected by the smoke, dust and greenhouse gases. Six of these villages are likely to be severely affected, he pointed out.

Patnaik said it is learnt that while public hearing regarding Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) has been done in the villages to be affected by this project in Chhattisgarh, no public hearing has been done in villages to be affected in Odisha.

On the other hand, NTPC has started its CSR activities in nine villages in Chhattisgarh while ignoring the 27 affected villages of Jharsuguda district, he pointed out.

Maintaining that the commissioning of the project will have serious impact on the environment, livelihood and health condition of the people of these 27 villages of Odisha, the chief minister said this issue has been raised by the affected people and the local MLA of Brajrajanagar and requested the Union minister to direct the NTPC authorities to address the genuine concerns of the project affected people of Odisha.