Environmental activists urged the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to postpone the public hearing for Tangedco’s 660 MW Ennore Thermal Power Station (ETPS) expansion project on January 6 in the wake of the increasing number of COVID cases.
Durga Moorthy of the Chennai Climate Action Group (CCAG), who have been campaigning against the power project, said that people are scared over the increasing cases and it would impact people participation in the public hearing. “A large section of people, including unvaccinated, elderly, youngsters and children, are keen to attend the hearing to register their opposition but now they are scared for their health,” she said.
Environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman said volunteers of the CCAG have been campaigning in Tiruvottiyur, Ernavur, Ennore and Manali for the past one month and mobilised good support against the thermal power project. “Over the last one week, people are expressing fear over attending a crowded public hearing in the wake of increasing COVID cases. The public hearing is being held for the sake of it and anyway they won’t listen to the public view on the project. But the public hearing is a forum provided under the law to express their views. It should be held with the participation of the public. So we are planning to write a letter to the government seeking postponement of the public hearing,” he said.
On Sunday, volunteers of the CCAG held street plays in four villages in Ennore and Manali. “The plays were organised by the pollution-impacted children highlighting the health impact of the thermal power plants,” Durga said, adding that they also collected the signature of the public against the ETPS expansion project.