Nagpur : Green and Vidarbha statehood activists have vowed to oppose the two new 660MW Koradi units tooth and nail. They contend that Nagpur district is already extremely polluted and the new units will make the air unbreathable. They feel several private plants are lying idle and the government should revive them instead of commissioning new units. Dinesh Naidu, secretary of Vidarbha Connect, said that there was no point in starting new units when private power plants were lying defunct. “Koradi is no longer a village but a part of Nagpur. Lakhs of people will fall prey to air pollution caused by the two units. The government should in fact shift the existing units to some other place,” he said. “We will launch an agitation against the units on the lines of Bharat Van movement and file a public interest litigation (PIL),” Naidu added. Nitin Ronghe, convener of Mahavidarbha Janjagaran, said, “Show me any city other than Chandrapur and Nagpur which produces so much thermal power. Why do we need to produce 16,000MW in Vidarbha when our requirement is only 1,800MW? We suffer from various ailments while rest of the state enjoys round the clock power. I challenge chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to start a single coal-based power plant in Pune district before going in for expansion of Koradi plant.” Kaustav Chatterjee of Green Vigil Foundation said that thermal units were being sanctioned around Nagpur at an alarming rate. “At this rate, the city will become a pollution hub. Mahagenco is reluctant to install pollution control units like flue gas desulphurisers (FGDs) because they are costly. The quality of coal used by it is also poor. Why should Nagpurians breathe poisonous air,” he said. Activist Anil Wadpalliwar said that the claim of BJP ministers that new units use non-polluting technology was entirely false. “The three 660MW units of Koradi, which run on supercritical technology, are extremely polluting. How can the two new units be different? The basic problem is that Mahagenco uses very poor quality coal. It does not bother to wash it and hence ash content is very high. Even otherwise, concentration of power plants in one area is bad for health of local residents,” he added.