GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited, Thermal Power Project

GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited is 1050 MW (with an additional 350 MW) coal based thermal power project located at Kamalanga village, Odapada Block, Dhenkanal district, Odisha.

The source of water for the power plant is Bhramani River, which runs along Kamalang village. The coal used for the project would be sourced from Talcher Mahanadi Coal field, which is about 43 kilometer from the GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited

The Revenue Block where the project is being constructed is identified as a critically polluted area, which led the Government of India’s Ministry of Environment to impose a temporary moratorium on all new projects in the area in 2010[1]. This Block is the 7th among 88 highly polluted hot spots the Ministry has identified.[2]

The land that has been acquired for the project used to be a fully irrigated agricultural land. The entire area was irrigated by the water from the Rengali Project through its sub canals. The project has been running for the last 10-15 years, however, the Rengali Canal reached the project area in 2002. Rengali left bank canal system was funded by the World Bank.[3] Currently, the entire irrigated land is acquired for GMR power project. The sub-canal system in the area is now blocked owing to project construction. Flow of water has been stopped.

Photo: Ranjan Panda

This shows serious contradictions in Bank’s investments. On one hand, it finances a water system to irrigate agricultural land. It’s a commendable use of money. On the other hand, it finances a thermal power plant requiring the acquisition of the same agricultural land which is at risk of being devastated and polluted.

The project is marred with serious social and environmental issues, which at present is not addressed by the company. There is also no mechanism for consultation, project participation and grievance redressal.

The CAO complaint can be found here (CAO website).

[1] Office Memorandum J-110113/5/2010-IA.II(I), Ministry of Environment and Forests; dated 13th January, 2010

[2] Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial Clusters (2009) Central Pollution Control Board Pg 24