Ensure power supply, stop lifting excessive underground water
Residents of three villages around Barapukuria 25MW coal-fired power plant have threatened to launch agitation to realise their two-point demand including smooth power supply to the villages.
The other demand is to stop lifting of excessive water from underground for the power plant as the villagers are not getting drinking water through tube-well due to fall in water level.
The villagers urged the authorities concerned to meet their demands by September 13. Otherwise, they threatened to besiege the power plant and cut electric supply lines to 14 pumps, which are lifting underground water for operating the power plant, on September 14.
The villagers under the banner of "Dudhipur Pani and Bidyut Sangram Committee" raised the demands at a press conference at Phulbari on Thursday.
Md Anwarul Haque, general secretary of the committee, read out a written statement while Md Shariful Islam, convener of the committee, and members Md Moslem Uddin and Mahmud Hossain spoke.
They alleged that hundreds of tube-wells at Dudhipur, Ishabpur and Sherpur villages have remained inoperative for long as water level has fallen due to lifting of excessive water by 14 pumps.
The villagers have to collect drinking water from far-flung areas and use tainted water released by the power plant for bathing and washing their clothes, the speakers said, adding that skin diseases are spreading at the villages.
They said though the government has set up a 250MW power plant in the area, they are not getting smooth power supply. "We appealed several times to the authorities concerned to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the villages, but to no effect," they added.
Md Anwarul Haque, general secretary of "Dudhipur Pani and Bidyut Sangram Committee" said if their demand are not met by September 13, they will besiege the power plant and stop operating the water pumps by disconnecting electric supply lines.
According to the officials of Dinajpur Public Health Department, the water releasing by the power plant is harmful to public health and widely spreading skin diseases. But the power plant authorities claim that they are releasing water after treating it inside the plant.