Policy

Protests against Jaitapur N-power plant set to intensify

| | Updated on: Apr 27, 2011

Jaitapur is on the boil, even as both the Centre and State Government renew their support to set up the 10,000-MW nuclear power plant.

“If a 440-MW nuclear plant at Fukushima can wreak havoc, then imagine the intensity of an accident at a 10,000-MW plant. Rather than dying of radiation later we are now ready to die, facing police bullets,” says Dr Milind Desai of the Mithgavane village that has lost 102 hectares to the proposed project.

Dr Desai says that people are agitated that a comprehensive environmental impact assessment of the first two reactors at the plant will be done only when they are operational, in 2019.

Leading the anti-nuclear protest at Jaitapur, Dr Vivek Bhide adds, local villagers are no longer interested in peaceful talks with the State Government.

They are getting increasingly aware of the hazards of nuclear power, and are not ready to listen to advice on maintaining peace. People here are willing to take their own decisions, says Dr Bhide, also the President of the Ratnagiri Zilla Jagruk Manch.

Strong opposition to the nuclear power project also comes from the Shiv Sena, whose Executive President, Mr Uddhav Thackeray, also visited Nate village on Monday.

Demanding the project be shifted out of Maharashtra, local media reports quoted him as saying: “If the central government's think-tank still feels that they should go ahead with Jaitapur, they should visit Japan to assess the situation.”

Police too are not allowed to enter the villages of Nate and Sakhri Nate, close to the plant site, says Mr Bappal Gawankar, of Madban village, at the project site.

The ground reality at the site and the neighbouring seven villages continues to remain tense, locals added, after last week's police firing near the Nate police station that killed Tabrez Sayekar, a 30-year-old local resident and anti-nuclear protester.

rahulw@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 17, 2011

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