Monthly Archives: June 2014

Relocate Cheyyur UMPP: Eminent Scientists Tell Government

Press Release: 30 June, 2014

Thirty-nine scientists, including former vice-chairman of the National Knowledge Commission Padma Bhushan Prof. Pushp M. Bhargava, have urged the Tamil Nadu and Central governments to relocate the 4000 MW Cheyyur UMPP considering the ecologically sensitive nature of the current location. The scientists’ letter notes that both reports make a prima facie case that Cheyyur is inappropriate for locating a coal-fired power plant. It asks the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the Union Minister of Environment & Forests “to take appropriate action to relocate the power project to a site that is in line with the siting guidelines of the Ministry of Environment & Forests, and to declare the Cheyyur lagoon, its catchment and drainage as areas of conservation importance and give it strong legal protection.”

The scientists have based their recommendations on two scientific reports. A Bombay Natural History Society & Madras Naturalists Society report on the use of the Cheyyur lagoon by migratory birds describes the lagoon as an important habitat for 77 species of waterfowl, eight of which are among 42 species listed as endangered in India. A second report by Prof. D. Narasimhan and K. Devanathan of Madras Christian College documents the rich botanical diversity that will be lost if the power plant and its associated infrastructure come up in their current locations. This report documents the presence of rare plant species and healthy patches of fast disappearing forest types such as the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests in areas earmarked for the power plant project.

Pointing to a climate-uncertain future with acute water scarcity and water-related conflicts predicted for India, the scientists warned that “locating a coal-fired power plant [at its current location] will not only harm the remarkable biodiversity but also compromise Cheyyur’s potential to serve as a supplier of fresh water for drinking and irrigation needs in the future.”

The BNHS/MNS report on migratory birds in Cheyyur lagoon can be downloaded:

The report by Prof. D. Narasimhan on botanical resources of the Cheyyur region can be downloaded:

For more information, contact: Nityanand Jayaraman – 9444082401

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Opting for coal-based energy ‘wasteful approach’ by govt: IPCC 

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi  

June 28, 2014 Last Updated at 18:28 IST

Emphasising on the need to decarbonise electricity generation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman R K Pachauri today termed as a “wasteful approach” by the government to opt for coal-based power projects and pressed for the use of renewable and nuclear energy sources to satisfy the country’s power needs. 

“…We would need to decarbonise electricity generation. Renewable energy technologies are an option, nuclear energy could be an option,” he said while speaking about the threat posed to climate by carbon-emitting coal-based power sector. 

Noting that major investment and time goes into coal-based energy generation in the country, Pachauri said by that time 300 million people, who are electricity deprived, can be served power using renewable energy sources. 

Speaking at the United Nations Public Lecture here, he said huge losses are involved in transmission and distribution of electricity generated from coal-based power plants. 

Read full story here: 

Pvt power developers want bidding for UMPPs to be halted

Many power companies, including Adani, CLP, GMR, Jindal Steel & Power, JSW Energy and Tata Power are unwilling to submit price bids under the new bidding documents, Association of Power Producers (APP) said in a letter to Power Minister Piyush Goyal.

Association of Power Producers, a body representing private electricity generation companies, has asked the Power Ministry to halt the bidding process for two proposed 4,000 MW ultra mega power projects in Tamil Nadu and Odisha, saying the projects are not economically viable

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Lack of coal forces Lanco to shut Udupi power plant

New Delhi, Jun 12, 2014, (PTI)

Lanco Infratech’s 1,200 MW Udupi electricity plant in Karnataka has been shut down due to non- availability of coal, while the state government put the blame on the company and said it would manage the power situation.

While a company spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, sources said the project, fired by imported coal and an important source of electricity for the state, has been facing financial difficulties due to outstanding payments for power supplied to Karnataka.

When contacted, Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar told PTI that all bills have been paid to the firm and that the state had even given Rs 300 crore in advance.

Read full story here:

Kanchi village has water surplus even in May

DC | Pramila Krishnan | June 06, 2014, 05.06 am IST
Kancheepuram: Nugumbal, a nondescript village in Cheyyur taluk, in Kancheepuram district, receives many visitors from countries like the US, UK and France. Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and other well-known Indian dignitaries have stepped into this village to know about the successful watershed management by the Nugumbal villagers.
Even during peak summer days, several ponds and wells in this village hold surplus water. Farmers here plan for their third crop in May unlike their cousins in other villages who are unable to cultivate any crop because of water shortage in summer.The watershed management project funded by NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) and Tamil Nadu government and facilitated by Chennai-based National Agro Foundation, a voluntary research organisation, has improved the water table in Nugumbal.

For full report go here: