5,000 signatures reached
To: Chief Minister- Kerala, Electricity Minister- Kerala, Chairman- Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd. (KSEB)
SAVE and CONSERVE Our Athirappilly
We want the proposed Athirappilly Hydroelectric Project to be withdrawn to preserve the natural heritage, habitat of Hornbills and Tribal population inhabiting the area.
Why is this important?
Athirappilly project is across the Chalakkudi River, in Thrissur district of Kerala. Athirappilly falls nicknamed “The Niagara of India” and is located in the Ecologically Sensitive Zone 1 of Western Ghats. Western Ghats is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight “hottest hot-spots” of biological diversity in the world. The only place where the four south Indian hornbills live together.
Athirappilly project, first proposed in 1982, received environmental and forest clearances in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Honourable High Court of Kerala, in 2001 suspended these sanctions citing irregularities. Comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment was carried out in January, 2002 and Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) secured environmental clearance in 2005. In 2006, Division bench of Kerala High Court quashed the report and demanded conducting Public Hearing. 90% of people voted against the project. In 2010, Kerala Government sought the opinion of Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel. After thorough study, the panel recommended against the project.
The installed capacity is 163MW, considering an efficiency of 30-50% of the installed capacity, power generated would be 50-100MW).
Why the Project is no Good.
Impact on lives of Kadar Tribes
1. The habitats will be seriously affected
The submergence of the forest will lead to:-
1. Loss of forest rich in biodiversity and known for its unique riverine forest system (3)
2. Habitat loss for nearly endemic plants (155 species) and animals
3. Habitat loss for the already threatened Hornbills, could lead to extinction (3)
4. Loss of migratory route for elephants
Construction of dam will affect migration of fishes
3. Financial Implication
A loss of approximately Rs. 500 crore/year worth benefits by ecological destruction and this is not considered in the cost of the project
Is there a power crisis in the state?
The government documents shows that Kerala has surplus energy in the past few years.
Power for the future?
KSEB have long term contracts for the purchase of 1250 MW electricity with private/public power generation companies for the next 25 years at the rate of Rs. 3.5/unit.
Cost of electricity generated through Athirappilly project
Considering the construction, operation and environmental cost, the cost of electricity will be around Rs. 17/ unit.
We need development that causes minimum damage to the environment. Let’s join and start today with a massive petition for conservation of Athirappilly and keep building the pressure until we win! Let's show our governments that people overwhelmingly want to protect Athirappilly and by far Western Ghats.
1. Western Ghats (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1342), accessed on 28th June, 2017
2. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities, published in Nature (Journal, Table 6), (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v403/n6772/fig_tab/403853a0_T6.html), accessed on 28th June, 2017
3. Gadgil report (www.moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/wg-23052012.pdf), accessed on 15th June, 2017
4. Athirappilly Falls (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athirappilly_Falls), accessed on 15th June, 2017
5. Kerala: Bad Ecology, worse economics (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/130616/kerala-bad-ecology-worse-economics.html),accessed on 15th June, 2017
6. Economic review 2016, State planning Board, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India March 2017, Volume one (https://kerala.gov.in/documents/10180/ad430667-ade5-4c62-8cb8-a89d27d396f1), accessed on 15th June, 2017