Pics: Justin D’Silva
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (JD)
Udupi, Feb 5: Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat held a negotiation meeting with the residents of Harady gram panchayat on Wednesday February 5 with regard to their opposition from the locals for setting up of the proposed material recovery facility solid waste management unit in Harady village of Brahmavar taluk.
The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) solid waste management unit is proposed to be built in the 5.64 acre government land. But the villagers have staged opposition to setting up of this unit at Harady village. Villagers are worried about the adverse consequences they might face in upcoming days because of this unit.
Raghupati Bhat, MLA Udupi, in conversation with the villagers, said, "This unit will be handling only solid waste and no other type of waste material. A similar unit has been set up in Jigani of Bengaluru. I have visited the factory in Jigani and after that, I am convinced to set up this unit in my constituency. I will be the first person to oppose this unit if it would create any sort of problem for the locals. This was proposed to be set up in Nitte village of Karkala taluk, but as the
identified location was under deemed forest area we were unable to set up this unit there. But now also the people and MLA of Karkala V Sunil Kumar are eager to set up this unit in their constituency. Solid waste will be crushed using a bailing machine and will be sent to the required places," he said.
Arguments erupted between the villagers and Raghupati Bhat on this issue.
Locals argued that at any cost they will not allow the setting up of the unit in Harady gram panchayat.
Speaking to Daijiworld.com, Kumar Suvarna, vice president of Harady gram panchayat, said, "No information was given to the villagers about this plant in advance. The resolution was passed in a special meeting of gram panchayat. There is a clear denial of democratic rights. In democracy people's decision is final. But here there is no place for people's opinions. District administration is trying to forcibly impose this unit on our villagers. Nitte villagers had opposed to set up this plant in their village. There are 7,664 people in Harady and Baikady village. Politicians should consider our agitation and should not try to set up this unit in our village.
“The proposed plot for this unit is very closer to the houses. There are five temples within the boundary of 500 meters of this place. Villagers are apprehensive that this place will be a dump yard soon. Many families dwell in the surrounding areas,” he added.
"Even though many people have opposed this plant, politicians are desperately trying to set up this unit. There is no use from the MRF unit. Some years back, sugar factory was built at Brahmavar saying that water brought from Varahi project will be utilized for the sugarcane cultivation, but today the factory is also not in a position to operate. We don't want another fatal government project in our village," said Bhojraj Shetty, a resident of the village.
Raghupathi Bhat has assured to take 15 people from the village to Jigani plant to enable them to study about the plant therein and then decide about taking further steps.
Preeti Gehlot, CEO zilla panchayat, Jayalakshmi, president, Harady gram panchayat, Sheela K Shetty, vice president, zilla panchayat chief planning officer, and others were present at the meeting.