Padubidri: More controversy on UPCL as trees are cut

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By Snehalatha, Udupi
Bellevision Media Network

Padubidri, 04 March 2012: Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) of Lanco Company which was involved in many controversies on the legal issues has involved again in another issue and by cutting hundreds of trees violating the Court’s stay order. Though the UPCL is directly not involved in this act, it is partly responsible for it.

The Electrical line is being installed for UPCL in Swacheripete of Mundkur Grama. KPTCL is conducting this project and have given the contract to Deepak Cables a private company. This line is being constructed to take the power from Padubidri to Shanthi Grama of Hasan District (178 kilometer) which passes through the Western Ghats which is world famous for the various living creatures.



In the process of this construction work about 5 – 6 lakhs trees which are hundreds of years old, rare plants and species will be destroyed. To stop this happening, Nandikoor Janajagrati Samiti had complained to Supreme court. Accordingly Supreme court had given the stay order to preserve this greenery until March 07 2012 intact.

But the KPTCL contractor is not ready to wait until 07th March, instead they have started to cut the trees from 01st March itself, thus they have violated the Supreme Court stay order. Already more than 1000 acre land has been acquired and without the permission of the Forest Department has cut more that 8 lakhs trees (rupees 30 crores worth as per the Forest Department). Later the Forest Department fined about 4 – 5 lakhs rupees and became quiet.

Here again the forest is being destroyed. This time the Forest Department has given the permission. But there is a stay order. But not having patience to wait until then, the stay order has been violated. In this UPCL, KPTCL and the contractors are equally responsible. So the Nandikoor Janajagrati Samiti Secretary Balakrishna Shetty has registered the violation case in Supreme court on Friday accordingly.

As per the Forest Department report, 42 meter wide and 178 kilometer length area (about 300 acre area) about 4 lakhs trees will be cut. But the numbers given by the forest Department is the trees which are in the Government land. Including the acquired private land it becomes total 600 acre area and about more than 6 lakhs trees will be destroyed. It is impossible to estimate the value of these invaluable trees, says the Raitha Sangha District President Vijayakumar Hegde.    




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Comments on this Article
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Sun, March-4-2012, 10:54
Judicial review will only delay, not scuttle the project of laying the overhead HT power evacuation towers and lines. A million trees will go. The 1200MW power has to serve those who want it: all of us. The least forest department should do is to raise forests to compensate, there is enough land and opportunity. The public should save energy: make efficient use of it. Early January 2012, I have been to homes here. They need lights during the day! Then they need fans, air-conditioners, freezers, non-stop entertainment on TV and long cooking processes. More trees will die, because our development ideas have no place for efficiency.
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