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Chamalapura

Background

The Karnataka Government announced its plans for locating a 1000 MW coal fired thermal power plant at Chamalapura, H.D.Kote taluk,Mysore district in early 2007. The development of this project, proposed under the BOO model of public-private ventures, was to be coordinated by the Power Company of Karnataka Ltd(PCKL), a Special Purpose Vehicle of the State Government.

On 08 August 2007, the PCKL issued a Global Invitation for Request for Qualification (RFQ), inviting bids for setting up a 1000 MW power plant at Chamalapura. Bids from a number of companies including Reliance Power and Tatas are said to have been received in response to the RFQ, according to newspapers.

Chamalapura, the epicenter of the group of villages proposed as a site for the thermal power plant, is 20 kms. to the Southwest of Mysore city. This region with its verdant agricultural lands is sandwiched between the Kabini and Cauvery rivers, and has a wide network of lakes. There are about 80 lakes (perennial and non perennial) lying within 8 km radius of Chamalapura. The proposed power plant is expected to result in land acquisition of 3000 acres (including 600 odd acres of forest lands) and displace at least 13,000 people, in Chamalapura & its neighboring villages.

In addition to the loss of rich agricultural lands, displacement of people and adverse impact on the ground water table in the region, the power plant, if set up, would threaten two crucial wildlife habitats- Rajiv Gandhi National Park at Nagarhole is only about 14 km away and Bandipur National Park is a mere 30 km from the project site.

Right from the time the governmentís plants became public; the project faced stiff resistance from people of the project affected villages, their elected local representatives, farmersí groups, environmentalists and citizensí groups from Mysore. In fact, the local Gram Panchayat and the Zilla Parishad passed a resolution opposing the setting-up of a power plant at Chamalapura.

ESG is an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes the cause of environmental and social justice through research, documentation, advocacy, training and campaign support. We aim to support the rights of local communities and voiceless ecosystems in a responsible, progressive manner that keeps contextual complexities in mind.