Foreign Secretary of France, Christian Masset, today said the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power project was important for his country and its work would start by the next year.
"The project is very important for France. The work on the project will start by 2018 and the first reactor will get operational by 2025. All the six reactors can start generating power by 2027 and a total of 10,000 MW would be generated from the project," Masset told reporters here today.
He said that special security measures have been included in the project after studying nuclear disasters world over.
The Jaitapur project in Ratnagiri district in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, where the French company Areva will be setting up the nuclear reactors, has been stuck for long due to differences over the cost of electricity to be generated. It has attracted strong opposition from various quarters on environmental and safety grounds.
"Sixty per cent of the supplies for the project would be procured locally and participation of local industry in developing the project would be ensured," Masset said.
He assured that the power rates would be affordable.
A delegation led by Masset met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at his official residence 'Varsha' here.
The CM directed the state officials to increase the public outreach and take necessary steps to ensure maximum employment to locals at the Jaitapur project.
Fadnavis said people have several "misconceptions" about the project and to address their concerns, a dialogue with local officials needs to be established.
"Information on security and safety aspects related to the project need to be given," Fadnavis said.
"Once there is a clarity on the rates of the power generated from the project, the schedule for the project can be announced and local people can be involved to ensure that the project gets completed early," he added.
Work on skill training needs to be undertaken immediately to ensure local people get employment from the project, he said.
Fadnavis also informed the delegation about the state government's "business-friendly" policies.
Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler, too, was present on the occasion.