BELGAUM: Villagers of Kudgi are not new to opposing the setting up of new projects by NTPC. Ten years ago, they prevented the setting up of a missile testing unit at the plant. Because of their strong opposition the unit was shifted to West Bengal.
However, the villagers had agreed to sell their land to the government to set up a thermal plant in the village.
The government acquired 3,000 acres which is registered in the name of NTPC.
The thermal plant was initially to be established at Tagadi in Uttara Kannada district but was shifted here after protests from villagers and environmentalists.
The plant will produce 4,000 MW. The project got permission on January 25, 2012, and on June 2, 2012, the then Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had laid the foundation stone.
Power would be generated from the first unit of the plant in 2015.
Kudgi is a village with a population of 4,500. The villagers of Masuti, Malaghana, Muttagi and Kolasangi joined Kudgi villagers and intensified the agitation demanding discontinuation of the project.
Dr M P Patil, a retired atomic scientist, filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the project.
The Supreme Court would hear the case on August 5.
Elected representatives of the district are milking the issue. While the BJP is blaming the Congress government for the firing incident, the Congress is saying that the land to set up the project was acquired by the previous BJP regime.
Congress MLA Shivananad Patil said the previous government (BJP) is responsible for whatever has happended in Kudgi on Saturday.
The situation in Kudgi is calm, but tense. Policemen — more than the population — are camping in the village as most construction workers who are from Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttarakhand have fled the village.