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Villagers boo officials at talks on Jaitapur safety

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Supported by the Opposition Shiv Sena, residents of a few villages of southwestern Maharashtra today stepped up their strong opposition to the proposed 9,900-Mw plant in their area of Jaitapur.

As former Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar shared the dais with its current chairman Srikumar Banerjee for the first time in the locality, protesters jeered officials of the Department of Atomic Energy, Atomic Energy Commission, Nuclear Power Corporation and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

The residents, who gathered at a seminar organised by Sena-affiliated Prabodhan Prakashan, pitched for cancelling the project. The government should, instead, encourage the development of non-nuclear power projects, he added.

Amid slogan-shouting Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray gave the concluding remarks.

Earlier, the audience, brought in by Shiv Sena legislator Subhash Desai, heckled, as Shashikar Dharne, executive director of the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC), made a short presentation to allay fears relating to radiation. His speech about upgrading the safety applications did not go well with the crowd.

Trade unionist Vivek Montario questioned the scientific basis of the NPC’s environment impact assessment study. Environmentalist Mahesh Sindikar expressed dissatisfaction over lack of convincing replies to several environmental-related issues in the document.

A local villager, Jitendra Raul, even demanded scrapping the Tarapur project.

Delhi high court’s former chief justice Ajit Shah also sought clarification on key safety issues.

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First Published: Wed, November 30 2011. 00:29 IST