Businessman pens down letter to UNESCO regarding UPCL expansion


Udupi: Dubai-based businessman Balakrishna Shetty from Yellur has expressed his concerns over the likely damage to be caused to the Western Ghats once the Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) Power Plant was expanded.

Writing to the UNESCO, Shetty who is also an environmentalist said that UPCL expansion, apart from the local environment posed a danger to the Western Ghats as well.

He informed the organization that UPCL had already commissioned 2 units each of 600 MW (1200 MW) and was planning an expansion of 2 more units of 800 MW each to make it function with an ultimate capacity of 2800 MW in a sensitive location close to the Western Ghats.

UNESCO’s had once described the Western Ghats (when granting it World Heritage status) that the Western Ghats which were older than the Himalayas played a vital role in Indian monsoon weather pattern.

The letter stated that as many as 37 court cases against the project had been pending since 2005. The UPCL is planning the expansion and it will lead to destruction of the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats, the letter read.

The point to be noted here is that the power generated was not meant for the coastal district instead it will be transmitted to Bengaluru and other cities for which lines were taken through the Ghats by felling as many as 30,000 trees in the area, he said in the letter.

Shetty added that though several organizations and people were against the project, the expansion was likely to go ahead as planned. He also made a mention of the Yettinahole Project being implemented in the region. He added that the Netravathi River flowing down the Ghats was also being diverted to make way for constructing a dam for which forest areas have been destroyed.

Shetty has urged the UNESCO to intervene and direct the government of India to prevent the expansion.


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