The Maharashtra government, in a bid to pacify locals opposing the proposed 9,900 Mw Jaitapur nuclear power project in Ratnagiri district, has cleared payment of Rs 10 lakh per acre to project affected persons (PAPs).
This is to be paid by the developer, Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC). Earlier, NPC had proposed a compensation of Rs 5 lakh per acre. The state government says this is only for Jaitapur, not other power and infrastructure projects in the state. There is no displacement of any family from the acquired land of 938 hectares. There are 2,335 PAPs.
State chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told Business Standard: “The necessary land has already been acquired and the award has been declared. The ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh per acre was earlier announced by the government and now a formal decision has been taken in this regard.”
He said he was prepared to address any more concerns against the project. This comes at a time when the Shiv Sena has joined locals to strongly oppose the project. Instead of more compensation, those opposed want the project to be cancelled.
Chavan’s announcement has sent out a clear signal that the state government was committed to provide necessary assistance to the NPC. The chief minister also made it clear it would not succumb to pressure to terminate the project. NPC has begun fencing the project site and issued a tender for construction of a desalination plant.
An NPC official said the company would provide jobs to the locals or cash compensation if the necessary skills were lacking with the PAPs. Besides, the company would develop hospitals, schools and other amenities.