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I am Dr Satish Salvi, a practicing Nephrologist in Fayetteville, NC(USA), I would like to bring to your attention the environmental catastrophe about to happen in the Konkan(Western Ghats) region of India due to Mega COAL based thermal power projects. This area happens to be my native place.
Please refer to the attachments.
The salient points are
1) Six Mega coal based thermal power projects, with total capacity of 16, 000 megawatts(Sixteen Thousand) are coming up in a short air distance of 100 kms along the coast of Ratnagiri, Arebian Sea to the west.. There is mountain range, Sahyadri (Western Ghats) which goes up to 4500 ft, at narrow distance of 30 kms to the east. The area of Konkan is primarily a region full of valleys, hills and streams and is lush green year round with immense biodiversity in terms of Flora and Fauna.
2) Thus it is very clear that the topography of this environmentally sensitive, pristine region is highly undesirable for implementation of such projects. It is not a Rocket Science that commissioning of these projects is going to ruin our fragile ecosystem locally by virtue of producing Acid Rain (SO2+ H2O = H2SO3, NO2+H20= H2No3,) and Mercury, in addition to CO2, CO and fly ash. Not to mention the contribution of these regressive activities to overall “Global Warming”
3) It is to be noted that the vast majority inhabitants of our impoverished region, about 3 million (30 Lakh) people depend on Eco based occupations for earning their livelihood, viz, a)Horticulture, the world famous Ratnagiri Alphansoes (Hapus), Cashews, Coconuts etc b) Fisheries (which will be devastated with mercury emitting from these power plants) and c) Tourism. This would have unimaginable Public Health & Social consequences including mass migration of population to Mumbai and Pune.
4) The primary reasons as to why the Konkan region is so attractive to Electricity generating Companies are, perhaps
a) The coal required for these projects is being imported globally, mainly from Australia, and it is easy to unload that from the ships off the coast.
b) Easy and free access to ocean water, incidentally these power projects consume enormous quantities of water.
c) Close proximity to consumer base of power i.e. Mumbai and Pune , thus mitigating the cost of transmission and distribution.
5) Worst of all what we have heard and being observed by our groups on the ground is that the machinery for these Power Plants is being imported from China. Apparently it is the same polluting machinery and technology that China is being forced to decommission under the pressure of international organizations. It is to be noted here that even after adopting the state of the art technologies as being done in USA and other advanced economies one can reduce the emission of hazardous and noxious pollutants by only 25%.(Verbal communication with experts in this field in USA)
6) It is very dishartening to see that all these projects are being funded primarily by Global finacial institutes based in developed economies.
This is the URGENT Public Health, Hunman Rights, Humanitarian & Moral matter and WINDOW of time to act is short and we need to move fast to “Save Konkan” & ” Save Earth”
Satish Salvi MD
President, Konkan Raksha & Samrudhi.
Chief of Nephrology & HTN,
VAMC, Fayetteville, NC 28303
800-771-6106 X 15787
910-488-2120 X 15787
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