Economy

Villagers petition Green Tribunal to cancel approval for Jaitapur n-project

| | Updated on: Oct 08, 2011
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Villagers opposing the 10,000-MW Jaitapur nuclear power project have petitioned the National Green Tribunal to cancel the environmental clearance, on the grounds that the approval process had too many inconsistencies.

Set up in October 2010, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is mandated to fast-track disposal of environmental cases. It functions under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).

Recently, the MoEF, based on the findings of the Tribunal, had cancelled environmental clearance granted to Goa-based Pirna iron-ore mine of the Vedanta Group.

In the Jaitapur case, the Tribunal has issued notices to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and has posted the matter for hearing on November 28.

Mr Pravin Gavankar of Madban village, along with other anti-nuclear activists, has questioned the Environment Impact Analysis report based on which environmental clearance was given in November 2010. The village is the designated site for the nuclear reactors.

According to the petition says that the clearance to the project was based on insufficient and misleading environmental and social impact assessment, inadequate public consultation and wrong appraisal of facts.

Mr Gavankar told Business Line that several geological events of the past have not been mentioned in the EIA report.

“In the report, there is no reference to the hot water springs found at the nearby town of Rajapur. These springs and the associated geological events will have deep ramifications for the plant,” Mr Gavankar said.

“If the environmental clearance procedure under the Environment (Protection) Act 1980 had been properly followed, the project, given its nature and extent of impact, would not have got the approval,” the petition said.

The petition also points to the fact that the proposed European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) technology is not functional in any nuclear plant in the world and therefore there is no data on its operation.

The Olkiluoto plant in Finland is the first plant where the EPR technology is being used and the plant is scheduled to start in 2013 after a delay of four years and a cost overrun of €2.6 billion($ 3.75 billion). Another plant where this technology will be used is in Flamanville in France which is also running four years behind schedule and is €2.7 billion( $3.89 billion) over budget, the petition said.

Published on March 12, 2018

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