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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tragedy in India

As reported in the Economic Times, a clash between security forces and local residents protesting the construction of a power plant resulted in two people shot dead and more injured.

Here’s some of the story:

NEW DELHI: A day after a violent protest by local farmers, Environment Ministry today ordered suspension of construction work of a power plant in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.

The Ministry sought a report by March 6 from the company East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd on compliance of conditions for environmental clearance.

The ongoing construction work related to the project should be "suspended forthwith", the Ministry said in its order with regard to the power plant.

It said the 2,640 MW Super Critical Coal plant was being constructed on wetland and cited recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Ministry as a reason for order to suspend work.
Piyali Mandal in the Business Standard adds this:
The directive (to suspend construction) followed reports that police had fired at protesters in Kakrapalli village, which is close to the site of the project. The firing left two people dead and others injured. The protesters included farmers and fishermen protesting against the acquisition of land. The matter was raised in Parliament on Tuesday, with Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh facing a volley of questions over the killing of farmers.
Our prayers go to the two people killed, as well as their families and loved ones.

And our attention must be turned to why such an event would happen. Why was there so much public opposition? Had the impacts on the people of the area and their ecosystem really been taken into account? Is the demand for power so great that innocent lives are being uprooted and destroyed?

Here, technology must meet morality. An old Catholic term (one that has been adopted by the State) comes to mind: the Common Good. No project, no technology, no source of power is so important that innocent people must be sacrificed—either by loosing their homes, their livelihood or their lives. God help them all.

This story needs much more information. If you have any, please add it to the comment fields below, or email

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