Locals protest against Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Maha

Locals opposing the construction of Jaitapur nuclear power plant in coastal Konkan today held a protest march, opposing land acquisition for the project.

Villagers, including women in large numbers, gathered at Madban village in Ratnagiri district and shouted slogans against the proposed power plant.

"The power plant was proposed 12 years ago but our opposition to it still remains. We want the government to cancel the project," said Satyajeet Chavan, chairman of Janhakka Seva Samiti, which is leading the agitation against land acquisition for the project.

Almost 80 per cent of the land acquisition of the total 930 hectares owned by 2,500 persons, has been completed. However, some farmers and villagers are opposing the project, citing forced rehabilitation and loss of livelihood.

"The use of nuclear fuel, its impact on global warming and potential threat to fishermen, are issues not being properly addressed by the government," he said.

The proposed nuclear power plant will take over land that currently belongs to the villagers in five different fishing villages: Madban, Varliwada, Karel, Niveli and Mithgavane.

In March, French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said construction of the Jaitapur nuclear power plant is expected to begin this year-end.

India and France had on March 10 inked an agreement to expedite the project. On completion, the Jaitapur project will be the largest nuclear power plant in the world, with a collective capacity of 9,900 MW.