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Tarapur, Jan. 7

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is willing to give additional compensation to the people affected by the Jaitapur nuclear power plant, said Dr S.K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of NPCIL.

Interacting with the media at the Tarapur nuclear power plant, Dr Jain said that a high-powered committee of the Maharashtra Government is looking at the compensation package, which has been offered to the project-affected people at Jaitapur. If the committee enhances the compensation then NPCIL will pay it, he said.

NPCIL has been holding negotiations with farmers since 2005 at Jaitapur in Konkan to acquire 938 hectares for setting up a 10,000-MW nuclear park with the help of reactors from France's Areva. NPCIL has managed to acquire tracts of land, but some local residents are not willing to part with their land, even as others seek higher compensation.

Drawing a parallel to the rehabilitation process at Tarapur plant, Dr Jain said that the estimated compensation at the time of acquiring land at Tarapur was Rs 10 crore but eventually it ballooned to Rs 88 crore, “but still NPCIL paid all the money”.

He said that of the total 938 hectares required for the plant, over 65 per cent is barren land and not a single house is located. He addedthat the barren land is ancestral land of the locals of Jaitapur and over 40 per cent of the title holders of the land are not traceable.

On being asked by the media, about the concerns raised on the safely of Areva reactors by some European nuclear sector regulators, Dr Jain said that in France about 60 plants have been fitted with Areva reactors and they are running without any incident. Similarly, China is buying 16 reactors and their designs from Areva, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 8, 2011)
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