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On January 19, 2011, the Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) finally scrapped its plans to set up the coal-powered energy plant project in the area after failing to get environmental clearance. NCC was denied green light for its project in Sompeta last year by the National Environmental Appellate Authority (NEAA) following protests by farmers and the death of three persons from a brutal police firing last July 2010.
With the pressure from the human rights and environmental groups in Andhra Pradesh, as well as the support from the international community, the NEAA affirmed its decision to quash NCC’s environmental compliance certificate.
On behalf of the organisations involved in this action, PAN AP would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation for your support. We hope that you will continue to support us in asserting the peoples’ rights to food sovereignty.
Reference: No More Power Plant Project in Sompeta
Dr. K. Rosaiah
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
Mrs. Sabitha Indra Reddy
Minister for Home Affairs
M.V. Krishna Rao
Director General of Police – DGP
Mr. Jairam Ramesh
Minister of State (Independent Charge)
I am very much shocked to know that villagers in Sompeta witnessed unprecedented violence on July 14, 2010 when representatives of Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd. (NCC) tried to acquire fertile multi-cropping agricultural land and water bodies with the help of local authorities and armed police force for construction of a proposed Merchant Power Plant (MPP) in that area. The spontaneous and non-violent resistance of local people met with planned violent attacks of the police-goon combined, leading to death of three peasants (one wounded person succumbed to his injuries afterwards) and leaving hundreds of other villagers, women and children wounded, while 15 persons suffered severe bullet injuries.
I am highly concerned to know about the fate of the small peasants and fisher communities of Rushikudda, Gollagunda, Baruvapeta and Benkili villages of Sompeta in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, India, who are facing threats of imminent eviction and loss of livelihoods due to proposed construction of the above Merchant Power Plant there.
... in order to uphold rights and justice I would like to request you to take following measures immediately in Sompeta:
- The violation of Right to Food (RTF) should be immediately stopped in and around Sompeta by scrapping GO 1107 (the notice of land transfer) and by banning the proposed MPP of NCC in that area.
- The rights of the communities in Sompeta over CPR should be duly acknowledged and reinstated.
- The victims of violations of rights in the affected villages should be adequately compensated and punitive measures should be taken against the local authorities responsible for the Sompeta firing on July 14, 2010.
- A judicial enquiry, with a sitting judge, should be commenced on Sompeta firing and all responsible persons of local police and administration should be held accountable for their wrongdoings.
- All false cases against Sompeta people must be dropped unconditionally with immediate effect.
- The lands which were directly bought by NCC from the villagers for the project should be acquired by the government from the company and the same should be redistributed among landless communities of Sompeta.
- All development planning in this region should ensure effective participation of the villagers with a focus on participation of marginalised communities like the poor fishers and landless peasant groups.
To read more about the results of the
International Fact Finding Mission,
you may download the Speak Out here:
Sri A. A. V. Ranga Raju
Managing Director, Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd
I would like to draw your kind attention to a matter of great concern in Andhra Pradesh, India. I am highly concerned to know about the fate of the people of four villages in Sompeta, a coastal block of Srikakulam district of AP, who are facing threats of imminent starvation and loss of livelihoods due to the proposed establishment of a Merchant Power Plant (MPP) of your company. The Government provided 1046 acres (423.3 hectares) of land to NCC Ltd in Sompeta which include 110.25 acres (44.6 hectares) of fertile multi-cropping agricultural lands and 972 acres (393.3 hectares) of wetlands (beela and tampara).
Due to the land transfer for this proposed MPP in Sompeta, several coastal villages were restricted to access nearby grazing grounds, fields and water bodies, which have resulted into chronic hunger and malnutrition.
... referring to your corporate commitments to human rights and your commitments to corporate social responsibilities, I would request you to take the following steps immediately:
- Take immediate steps to stop the proposed project in Sompeta which is violating right to food of hundreds of villagers there.
- Comply with the judgment of National Environmental Appellate Authority (NEAA) and respect the need of preserving invaluable rich biodiversity of Sompeta. Inspect the depth and dimension of the livelihood losses in that area due to land alienation for the proposed MPP and compensate the villagers adequately for their losses.
- Emphasise on respecting human rights principles and upholding the food sovereignty of the local people in all your future projects in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere in India, where livelihoods of communities are involved and concerns regarding pollution of ecology are prominent.
- It was alleged that hired goons of NCC Ltd. were involved in brutal attacks on villagers on July 14, 2010 in Sompeta. During this attack two villagers died in police firing and hundreds of villagers were badly injured including elderly, women and children. Recently one wounded villager succumbed to his injuries increasing the death toll. Villagers are demanding a judicial enquiry with a sitting judge on Sompeta attack. I hope NCC Ltd. would support this demand of the villagers and extend its fullest cooperation in this process to reveal the truth and to bring the real culprits to book.
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Watch this video on YouTube:
Local activist Ratnam J.V. compiled this video from various footages and pictures taken by different media groups.