Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Villagers besiege Barapukuria power plant

Thousands of people from different villages besieged Barapukuria 250MW power plant in Parbatipur upazila of Dinajpur on Tuesday to realise their two-point demand including smooth power supply.
Nearly 3000 villagers under the banner of "Dudhipur Pani and Bidyut Sangram Committee" brought out a procession and marched towards the power plant in the morning and laid siege to it around 10:45am.
Their demand also include stop lifting of excessive water from underground for the power plant as the villagers are not getting drinking water through tube-wells due to fall in water-level.
The villagers launched the agitation programme in the morning as the authorities concerned failed to meet their demands within their given deadline.
Earlier on September 4, they gave the September 13 time limit to fulfil their demands. They also threatened to besiege the power plant and cut electric supply lines to 14 pumps, which are lifting underground water for operating the power plant, on September 14 on the day.
Additional police and army personnel have been deployed around the power plant area to avoid any untoward incident.
Md Anwarul Haque, general secretary of the committee, earlier alleged that hundreds of tube-wells at Dudhipur, Ishabpur and Sherpur villages have remained inoperative for long as water level has fallen due to lifting of excessive water by the 14 pumps.
The villagers have to collect drinking water from far-flung areas and use tainted water released by the power plant for bathing and washing their clothes, they claimed, adding that skin diseases are spreading at the villages.
They said though the government has set up a 250MW power plant in the area, they are not getting smooth power supply. "We appealed several times to the authorities concerned to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the villages, but to no effect," they said.
Chief engineer of the power plant Bishwanath Haldar earlier told the correspondent that the ministry concerned and the Power Development Board are authorised to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the villagers.
According to the officials of Dinajpur public health department, the water releasing by the power plant was harmful to public health and widely spreading skin diseases. But the power plant authorities claimed that they were releasing water after treating it inside the plant.
-Daily Star

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