Villagers continue to agitate over proposed Jaitapur nuke power project

Sunday, February 27, 2011

JAITAPUR - Even as Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan continues to assure the people of Jaitapur that their farmlands won’t be forcefully acquired for a 9,900 megawatt nuclear power project, the minds of protestors have not changed on the issue.

Villagers have been growing vegetables and even alphonsos on the land described as barren by the environmental impact report leading to stiff opposition.

Scores of meetings are being held in the region by political heads, but villagers are still unconvinced.

Chavan, in fact, has been forced to visit Jaitapur to appease and convince the angry and disillusioned villagers.

Fishermen too are up in arms about the possibility of their land also being acquired. They also fear that the proposed nuclear plant will destroy the marine ecology of the area.

While the debate in government circles in Mumbai and Delhi centers around the viability and energy requirement from the project, villagers in Jaitapur feel their basic need for survival is being ignored.

Addressing a public rally near Jaitapur, Chavan said outstanding issues regarding adequate compensation would be amicably resolved.

“I, chief minister of Maharashtra, wouldn’t allow forceful acquisition of your land without your approval. We will discuss the issues here. I request you to tell your grievances. Some foreign powers don’t want development of India. But India will progress. We will make India a superpower with the help of youth and farmers,” said Chavan.

The project, which would be built in collaboration with French firm Areva, has run into rough weather as protesters have argued that it would harm the local environment and put people at risk. (ANI)

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