Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Villagers concerned about GPPC project

D P Bhattacharya

Ahmedabad, July 19: VILLAGERS of Rajula taluka of Amreli district have raised concerns over land acquisition and local employment at a public hearing held today. The hearing was jointly organised by Pipavav Power Company Ltd. and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), which are setting up a 1,050-megawatt natural gas power plant at Kovaya village.

Gujarat Pipavav Power Company (GPPC), floated by the GSPC and Pipavav Power Company Ltd., is also the breeding ground for migratory green turtles and peripheral habitat for the Asiatic lion.

The land acquisition order for the project was issued on October 1, 1993 for 125 hectares. Out of the 125 hectares, 114 hectares was under the ownership of 80 farmers, while the rest belonged to the state government.

While the price for the land, according to the acquisition, have already been paid to the farmers, 55 farmers moved Amreli civil court for adequate compensation.

Talking to Newsline, Sudhir Shah, General Manager (Project), GPPC, said that the company has already reached an agreement with the farmers, which has been submitted to the court.

Mahesh Parmar, an environmental activist from Rajula, said, “While the issue of land acquisition was a major concern, the employment to be generated by the plant also caused some uproar.” Parmar also said that as the literacy level of Rajula is quite low, at around 45 per cent, very few locals would be able to benefit from this project as most would not qualify for jobs.


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