Nagpur :- Vishal Muttemwar, General Secretary, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has written a letter to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, urging him to cancel the proposal by the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) to add two units of 660 MW each, totalling 1320 MW to the existing 2600 MW at Koradi Thermal Power Plant in Nagpur.
Vishal Muttemwar has written the letter as a concerned citizen of Nagpur, expressed his shock at the proposal, citing that these power plants already pose a major health hazard for the citizens of Nagpur and the adjoining villages of Koradi.
In a letter addressed to Fadnavis, Muttemwar argued that Maharashtra is a power surplus state, with an installed power generation capacity of 44143 MW, including 27294 MW of thermal power generation capacity. The thermal power plants based in the Vidarbha region have an installed capacity of 16,816 MW, out of which more than 75% of power is transmitted to other parts of Maharashtra.
He highlighted that the people of Vidarbha are risking their lives, health, and parting with fertile land and precious water for generation of electricity for the entire state. Furthermore, according to a WHO report, Nagpur is among the most polluted cities in Maharashtra as the concentration level of airborne particles of size PM 2.5 and PM10 is very high, which can enter human lungs and cause cancer.
Muttemwar strongly opposed the proposed power generation expansion for several reasons, including that there is no shortage of power in Maharashtra, nor is there any demand for power by distribution companies. Many power plants have closed down due to lack of demand for power. The wind and solar energy potential of Maharashtra is also not explored to the desired extent, and the targets have not been achieved till date.
Moreover, Nagpur district already has an installed capacity to produce more than 7000 MW of power from coal. A huge quantity of water meant for irrigation is diverted for power generation, and Vidarbha is the ‘Farmer Suicide’ capital of the world only due to lack of irrigation. More than 50,000 tons of fly ash per day is generated, which is stored in Ash ponds as Fly ash utilization is negligible. Air, water, and soil pollution are greatly damaging the environment, Muttemwar mentioned in the letter.
Muttemwar also highlighted that as per the Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana 2.0, the government plans to operate at least 30% of agricultural feeders in each district on solar energy by December 2025 by generating 7,000 MW solar power. Therefore, there is no need to set up new units at Koradi.