02 March, 2021

Enron: Robbing Innocence

The DPC leaves in its wake a land destroyed permanently. Everyone has lost something for ever.

Atul Loke
Enron: Robbing Innocence
A well-tarred road north of Chiplun town leads to the Dabhol Power Company's plant. The road is virtually empty—just a few vehicles pass by in an entire day. But the plant, on 610 hectares that originally belonged to the villages of Katalwadi, Anjanvel, Veldur and Ranvi, is an overpowering reminder of a marauder that irrevocably altered the history and geography of the land.

The region may never be the same again. Even after six months of the plant officially shutting down, the past haunts the locals and may pass away only to become folklore. Even then the changes in the topography will be permanent. Everyone here has lost something forever, it seems, as the locals tell their stories.

The plant was built on the ancestral land of 700 families. "The land was marked out in an office, not on physical supervision," says Vivek Vaidya, a well-off mango farmer. It didn't matter if a plot of land had a house on it, or an orchard or crop. The first man who opposed the goings-on was Hamid Chougule, whose 800 mango and coconut trees were uprooted one weekend as he couldn't get a...

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