Friday, September 30, 2011

Who is behind MOEF Nod for East Coast Power Plant?


 It is understood that MOEF accorded permission to East Coast Energy Pvt. Ltd to resume work on Power Plant at Kakarapalli, which was suspended in February 2011, as per the directive of MOEF, after 3 persons were killed in police firing on agitators against the project..


Suspicion behind MOEF Permission?


 It is disturbing to note that MOEF decided to rescind the "Stop Work" order issued on 1 st March 2011, based on biased & distorted recommendation of the EAC Meeting held on 3 rd May 2011, that too after a lapse of 7 months of apparent lobbying and political interference by the project proponent.  


Reject Recommendation of EAC and Cancel EC


 According to the observations of NEAA, the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife and one of the Committees of EAC, the ECEPL Power Project site is in ecologically sensitive and important wetlands and Naupada Swamps area was an excellent habitat for Migratory Birds and was classified as IBAS. But the EIA Report of the Project proponent suppressed these facts  and the concerned authorities of the State Government  also failed to point out these facts , presumably with the intention of helping the project proponent, under political influence 


The NEAA in its order dated 30-08-2010 observed that various reports in respect of the project,, including that of sub-committee of EAC were found to be incorrect. The EAC and in turn the MOEF has relied on these reports for granting Environmental .Clearance for the project.


In accordance with Sub- Para 8 (vi) of EIA Notification, the deliberate concealment and/or submission of false or misleading information or data which is material to screening or scoping or appraisal or decision on the application shall make the application liable for rejection, and cancellation of prior environmental clearance granted on that basis.


 It is therefore requested that the recommendation of EAC be rejected outright and the E.C granted to Bhavanapadu 2640 MW TPP of ECEPL at Kakarapalli, be cancelled by MOEF, after giving a personal hearing to the project proponent and following the principles of natural justice,    

Invisible Hand behind ECEPL?

 It is worth knowing the background and the source of resources of the people behind   the East Cost Energy Pvt ltd, who stage managed: a) the allotment of Govt land right in the prime Wetlands of Bhavanapadu, b) all the clearances required for the project both from the State and Central Governments in a record time by getting the ground realities suppressed, in spite of stiff opposition to the Project, and c) who are managing the State Administration to mobilize massive Police Force to terrorize the villagers participating in the agitation against the project, resulting in killing of three innocent villagers  and injuries to many villagers in the Police Firing. ?



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NPCIL says Don't Confuse People on Nuclear Power

The News Item was published in "The Hindu" 13 th September, NPCIL urging the Environmentalists and Civil Society groups not to air their views without studying the safety measures in the 18 existing Nuclear Projects and stating that advanced technology will be used in Kovvada Nuclear Power Park(NPP).


 The following observations are made. on NPCIL misleading statement :


 Former AERB Chairman Dr.A.Gopalakrishnan was reported to have raised alarm over government's Nuclear Power programme based on imported Reactors, saying  it would turn India's entire coastline into a disaster zone in waiting. ----He also said the Reactors being imported were new types, which foreigners had no experience of.---He tore through the government's plan to import LWRs( Light Water Reactors)."  


 Note: 6 LWRS with capacity of 1000/1600 MWe each, are expected to be imported from USA for Kovvada NPP 


Can NPCIL educate Environmentalists and Civil Society regarding the Intensity of Radio Activity, its Duration & Extent of Area likely to be affected in the unlikely event of an accident in the proposed Kovvada Nuclear Power Park and the consequent human and environmental tragedy and  the proposed Risk/Disaster  Management Plans ?


Can NPCIL explain the need for Nuclear Power in India, with high energy intensive economy and having the saving potential of 10 to 20 % in various sectors by cost effective energy conservation measures, while the proposed expensive, high-risk and hazardous Nuclear Power of 60,000 MWe capacity  by 1931-32, which will be hardly 7.5% of 8,00,000 MW capacity planned by then ?


Can NPCIL explain how it is planned to transport, store and dispose hazardous Nuclear Waste generated by Kovvada NPP?


It is estimated that each regular 1,000 MWe Nuclear Power Reactor generates 30 Tons of extremely potent radioactive waste annually, during 30 to 50 years of its operation, by way of spent nuclear fuel rods and they have a half-life of nearly 30,000 years. In addition, there is the Nuclear Waste coming out of the decommissioned Nuclear Reactors after their operational life of about 50 years.. Even after decades of scientific research, no one has so far figured out how and where to store the radioactive waste created by nuclear power generation.?


 When we do not have the capability -- or even a plan -- to safely store the existing toxic radioactive waste, how can we move forward with more new NPPs?




Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kovvada Nuclear Power Park- Why & What Cost?


Kovvada Nuclear Power Park (NPP)


The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), is a Public Sector Enterprise, under Administrative Control of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), which is under direct charge of Prime Minister. The NPCIL proposes to set up coast based AP Nuclear Power Park (NPP) with a total capacity of 6x1000 MWe / 6x1600 MWe of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) of US Origin at Kovvada of Ranasthalam Mandal in Srikakulam District 


The NPP is expected to be implemented in three stages of 2x1000/1600 MWe each with a gap of about 3 years, along with Residential Township as part of this project.  It is proposed to acquire approximately 700 ha of land for the NPP and 75 ha for the Township.. The water requirement for NPP is proposed to be met from Sea Water and the Fresh Water requirement for the Township will be met through desalination plant.  The construction of a jetty for movement of heavy equipment through sea route is also proposed as part of this project. 


NPP –Exclusive Zone


The area up to 1.5 KM around the NPP will be acquired and fenced and treated
as  Exclusive Zone and will be under total control of NPCIL. No member of public will be allowed to enter this zone with out permission.


As per the information available, there are 5 villages/habitations with 862 households, having the population of about 3,500 in the proposed Exclusive Zone of NPP. The entire population of 3 habitations falling in this zone is dependent on fishing for their livelihood while around 90 people in one habitation are dependent on agriculture/ agriculture labour for their livelihood.

The private land in the zone is to the extent of 560 acres. The livelihood of the fishermen to be evicted from the zone remains a serious problem. It is important that Exclusive Zone does not overlap CRZ Area.

NPP- Sterilized Zone:

Up to 5.0KM around the NPP is a restricted area, called Sterilized Zone. No new activity is permitted in this area.  Existing activities, people, structures continue to remain.

There are 42 villages/habitations with about 6700 households, having total population of about 30,000 in the proposed Sterilized Zone (1.5 to 5.0 km) of Kovvada NPP. The entire population of the villages / habitations in this zone is dependent on agriculture / agriculture labour for their livelihood, except for about 2,400 people in 4 habitations depending on fishing for their livelihood The private land in this zone is to the extent of 11,600 acres, predominantly with intensive agricultural activities.

These 6,700 households in sterilized zone with 30,000 population,, in the close vicinity of the proposed NPP, will be the worse affected, as they are likely to be exposed to radioactive gases routinely released by the Reactors, and  their agricultural produce is likely  to be contaminated by radiation and no new activity is permitted in  this zone. 

NPP- Emergency Planning Zone:

 Up to 16.0 KM around the NPP is called Emergency Planning zone, where usually Township, Environment Monitoring Lab (EML) Schools, Hospitals are located. There are 66 villages/habitations with about 10,300 households, having total population of about 41,400 in this Zone (5.0 to 16.0 km) of NPP. The entire population of the villages in this zone is dependent on agriculture / agriculture labour for their livelihood, except for about   3,000 people in 5 habitations depending on fishing for their livelihood

 The private land in the zone is to the extent of 14,600 acres predominantly with intensive agricultural activities. The major chunk of the land in this zone may be required for the Township, Environmental Monitoring Laboratory ( EML) and other supporting infrastructure facilities, displacing many of the habitants and adversely affecting the agricultural operations and the green cover in this zone.

NPP- Impact Assessment Zone

 Up to 30.0 Km around the NPP is  called Impact Assessment Zone normally monitored by EML  A number of major industries manufacturing Bulk Drugs are located within this zone of 30 km from the proposed Kowada NPP. The extent of these Zones may have to be revised upwards, taking into account the impact of recent Nuclear Meltdown of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, in Japan..

 Hazardous & Toxic Substances to Health & Environment

Apart from hazardous radioactive gases/substances routinely released by the Nuclear Reactors into Air & Water sources resulting in contamination of Land and Water in the area, the risks of possible accidents during operation and likely terrorist attacks on Nuclear Reactors and their likely impact in the surrounding area and habitation are of serious & grave concern

 Each 1000 MW NPP is estimated to generate 1500 Tons of extremely potent Radio Active Waste in its operational life of 50 years, On decommissioning after 50 years of operation, it contains an amount of long-lived radiation equivalent to that released by the explosion of 1,000 Hiroshima size bombs, which inevitably entails the release of radioactive materials. The Nuclear Industry is yet to find how safely transport and store this deadly material for periods of time –almost beyond our comprehension – 2, 40,000 years.

 Why & At What Cost?


 With all this massive capacity additions, the contribution  of Nuclear Power by 2031-32 is expected to be 60,000 MW, which will hardly be 7.5% of total expected capacity of 8,00,000 MW by then. With huge potential of energy saving -more than 10%-, by cost effective conservation measures, why opt  for Nuclear Power, which doesn't seem to add up Economically, Environmentally or Socially and is neither the answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for Climate Change challenges ?

Should not the people of Kovvada have a right even to be told, about the imminent dangers of the proposed Nuclear Power Park in their vicinity, if their lives and that of their future generations are to be sacrificed for the sake of Nuclear Power Park?  The current generation would be making decisions that impact people far into the future. What right do we have to commit future generations?


 Evil vs. Devil  


 Nuclear Power is not just the EVIL and it is the DEVIL. The Evil of our own making can be overcome. The Devil cannot be overcome, not even if we ourselves conjure him into being. This is why; staking our future on Nuclear Power is a Pact with the Devil, impacting the generations far into the future.

Electricity is but the fleeting byproduct of Nuclear Power. The actual product is forever deadly Radio Active Waste.!



Saturday, September 10, 2011

LANCO HILLS in 2007 and 2011

Does Hyderabad have ability to absorb high priced apartments and villas?
This is one question we keep hearing from NRIs. Unfortunately, most NRIs believe that the local rich is a miniscule percentage in Hyderabad, compared to number of rich NRIs abroad. But the fact is that Hyderabad has several times rich people than NRI community, who have made money in politics, underhand Govt. Jobs, Contracts, Business and Industries. But they were a bit lethargic. But the Lanco booking has proven beyond doubt, that the local rich is a very strong community, with much deeper pockets than NRIs, which can be influenced into booking in Projects, by a highly focused campaign.(Extract from Exclusive Ventures Report 15-07-2007)

LANCO HILLS as in 2007

LANCO HILLS in 2011 (As Projected in 2007)

(The present ground reality of LANCO HILLS PROJECT, as on 10 th September 2011, is quite different )
The Local Rich is a Colorful Mix. The Sleeping Giant Suddenly Stirrers Up!
Local Rich as a group was a Sleeping Giant. It was never really poked by anyone. But the high end Ad campaign was so forceful that the slumbering Giant woke up and unleashed its booking fury! It was so fearful, that people who were too smart to ask inconsequential questions at this stage, were brushed aside. Blank cheques were sent through drivers and office boys to pick up properties ranging from 90 L to 2.5 Crore! There was no space for fumbling NRIs who send parents to enquire about land record, approval, carpet area, home loan interest rate and what not?! Who cares?
Industrialists, Cinema Community, Business Men, Politicians, and Officers with abundant black (its no great deal to convert black to white if they can generate black!) were all there, grabbing flats with no questions asked. Gleaming BMWs, Benzes, Toyotas and Skodas were all over the place! To hell with home loans!
The campaign clearly established Lanco Hills as a high end destination where the moneyed should own property. If today, Jubilee Hills stands for status, tomorrow it will be Lanco Hills spread over 100 Acres. That was a place to be identified with, as per the campaign..(Extract from Exclusive Ventures Report 15-07-2007)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Environmental Disaster of A P Coast Based Thermal Power Plants?


A P Power Sector Scenario


The present electrical power consumption in AP State is around 87,380 Million Units(MU) per annum, which is estimated to be equivalent of about 17, 500 MW of  installed capacity. It is being met by AP GENCO, NTPC and IPPs. At present the installed capacity of APGENCO Units – Coal, Hydel, Gas etc- is around 8,900 MW about 50% of the total requirement. The AP GENCO is reported to be planning to add another 19,626 MW capacity, more than twice the present capacity, by 2020 or so.


Proposed Addl. Capacity in AP 


 As per the information gathered from various sources, which may not be very authentic,  around 70 Power Plants based on Coal, Hydel, Gas etc, including 10,000 MW Nuclear Power Park at Kowada in Srikakulam district, are reported to be in the planning stage/ pipeline, with the total capacity addition of around 70,000 MW in the State. Out of this, about 25 Coal based Thermal Power Plants (TPPs), with total capacity of about 45,000 MW are expected to come up on the Coast of AP, starting from Sompeta in Srikakulam District in the North to Krishnapatnam in Nellore District in the South.


Coal and its Impacts


The Thermal Power Plants coming up on the coast, with an estimated capacity of 45,000 MW, will require 270 million tons of Coal per annum, at the rate of 6 million tons per 1000 MW per annum and at least 30-40% of which will have to be imported. With an ash content of 25% in the coal, the Fly ash of 67.5 million tons/annum will be generated with its associated problems.

The mining of coal destroys the entire ecosystems and burning it alters our climate, makes people sick and cuts lives short. The disposal of its huge volumes of waste (fly ash) contaminates the land and surface/ground waters alike. The share of SPM load caused by TPPs is about 82% of the total Industrial Pollution, causing serious respiratory problems. The UN panel called for immediate suspension of Coal Power Projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The coal is not clean and really cannot be made so. But that does not keep those, who make big money by mining and burning the black mineral, from making those dubious claims.

Coal Power Plants on the Coast

The requirement of huge quantities of Fresh Water and the Land for TPPs is bound to have high social and economic impacts on the local communities. In addition to the adverse impacts of SPM, the problems of Mercury, NoX, SO2 etc released by TPPs, are of immense magnitude. The marine and coastal ecology & biodiversity are the main causalities of the TPPs, with their adverse impacts on the livelihood of the coastal communities.


The other aspect is the destruction of ecologically sensitive coastal natural resources such as Mangroves, Wetlands, and Bird Sanctuaries by the location of the proposed TPPs, as experienced at Sompeta and Kakarapalli in Srikakulam district. The capacity of 5,000 MW is expected at Critically Polluted Visakhapatnam, which is of serious environmental concern and health hazard to the people in the area.


Likely Impact of TPPs around Krishnapatnam on SHAR at Srihari Kota


Surprisingly about 22,500 MW capacity i.e. 50% of the total capacity on the AP Coast is likely to come up in Krishnapatnam and Chillakur Mandals of Nellore district alone. The likely adverse impacts of this on SHAR at Srihari Kota and Pulicat Wildlife Sanctuary and Pulicat Lake, the second largest brackish water Eco-System in the country, do not seem have to been studied and evaluated.


The comprehensive and integrated Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of these TPPs along with the TPP at Ennore in Tamilnadu needs to be undertaken to evaluate their adverse impacts on SHAR, Pulicat Wildlife Sanctuary, Buckingham Canal etc. No new TPPs should be permitted and the ones already permitted in the area are not to be commissioned, before integrated EIA is completed.


Capacity Addition Syndrome


The policy of capacity additions embodied the myth that economic vitality requires steadily increasing energy consumption. The Nation's Energy Security depends on efficient use of Energy Services that maximize economic competitiveness and minimize environmental degradation / impacts. The following questions need to be addressed by the Policy Makers, before resorting to any more capacity additions in AP State:


a)    Does AP State need massive capacity addition of 70,000 MW, taking into consideration the huge potential for saving energy by reduction of T&D Losses and Energy Conservation Measures, which are comparatively cheaper, faster and eco-friendly ?

b)    If not required, why inflict the AP Coast with the Ecological Disaster?

c)    Do these capacity additions justify massive investments (Rs.5 Crore/MW & similar amount for Evacuation), taking into account the sever shortage of domestic coal supplies, already being experienced & its poor quality and the likely increase of international coal prices & freight costs and massive costs of ecological destruction under "Polluter Pays Principle"?

d)    Factoring in the environmental and other associated costs of TPPs, Solar Power may prove to be cost effective? 

e)    Have MOEF and Ministry of Power, GOI, considered the above while clearing the massive capacity additions on AP Coast?

f)     Has the State Administration ever given a thought to the above, before alienating Govt Lands, particularly the eco-sensitive wet-lands and permitting the land acquisition and the change of the land-use for TPPs?


For setting up of such huge capacities, using estimated 270 million tons of coal & generating 67.5 million tons of flyash per annum, the integrated and comprehensive EIA should have been undertaken to evaluate the cumulative adverse impacts on coastal communities and marine & coastal resources in particular.  No new projects should be cleared and/or permitted to be commissioned before an integrated EIA is undertaken and its evaluation is completed.

The incorporation of comparatively cleaner technologies such as IGCC and the integration of Solar Thermal Power by the Coal based Thermal Power Plants already cleared will have to be considered, particularly around Krishnapatnam, to reduce their adverse impacts