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Farmers demand return of land bought for KVK power project

KVK Nilachal Power plans to set up 1400 Mw coal-based power project at Athagarh in two phases with Rs 5,000 crore investment

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

The farmers of Cuttack district, through an open letter to Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik, have demanded return of farm land bought by KVK Energy for establishment of a power plant, citing delay in establishment of the project.

“We are requesting you to take steps to ensure that KVK Energy, which had acquired our farm lands in 2006 and is yet to construct its plant, return our land and also request you to delete our villages from the process of land acquisition,” said a letter written by villagers of Kandarei, Rahangol, Khanduali, Dalua of Cuttack district.

KVK Nilachal Power has plans to set up 1400 Mw coal-based power project at Athagarh in two phases with Rs 5000 crore investment. The power plant will come up on an area of more than 900 acres.

It had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Odisha government on September 26, 2006 for 600 Mw capacity, which was later enhanced to 1200 Mw through a supplementary MoU in 2008. But it has been facing problems in acquiring land due to opposition by a section of people in Athagarh.

In May 2012, the Cuttack High Court had imposed an interim stay on the construction of the power project on grounds of violation of wildlife and forest protection norms based on a petition filed by Charades Krushak Surakhya Sangh represented by its president, Narayan Sahoo.

In August 2012, the court had refused to vacate the stay order.

The company had faced a jolt in 2009 when the HC imposed stay on construction of the plant, based on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) accusing that the funds invested in the project are proceeds of frauds made in Satyam Computer case. It may be noted, Maytas Infrastructure Limited, a sister company of Satyam was a key stake holder in KVK Neelachal Power Company, the owner of Cuttack plant. The company got a reprieve later as the Supreme Court squashed the High Court’s stay order.

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First Published: Tue, July 30 2013. 20:20 IST