Home > In the Media > Fishing village gets ready for country’s largest nuke power park

Fishing village gets ready for country’s largest nuke power park

Nisha Nambiar in The Indian Express

May 27, 2008

The fishing hamlet of Madban in Rajapur taluka of Ratnagiri district will be home to the country’s largest nuclear power park. This is where the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is planning to set up a 10,000 MW nuclear power park as per a gazette notification by the Maharashtra government on January 12, 2006.

The NPCIL is acquiring 940 hectares in Madban and the adjacent Warilpada village for the main project and also from Karel, Niveli and Mithgavane for the residential colony, some three km away. While the villagers have their reservations over this mega project, the Centre has given its green signal and the state has been asked to speed up the land acquisition process.

A fortnight ago, the state government issued notices to each of the households under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. The villagers have also been informed about a joint valuation of existing agriculture crops, structures, forest and horticulture trees on the proposed land under acquisition.

Poonam Mayekar, a former sarpanch who has formed a protest group with other villagers, says they are worried about the environmental repercussions of the nuclear park in the vicinity. “We are fishermen and with such plants coming up, it will definitely be a threat to our livelihood,” he said.

However, C.B. Jain, NPCIL associate director of the Jaitapur site, allayed the villagers’ fears: “While acquiring land for the project site and residential colony, it has been ensured that not a single family is displaced. All possible control measures as well as regular environmental survey will be carried out by an independent agency under the Department of Atomic Energy.”

Identified as part of the government’s plan to enhance nuclear power capacity in the country by 6800 MW along the coastline, the three other sites identified are Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawalbhata in Rajasthan.

The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, will soon submit a comprehensive environmental impact assessment study. This will be followed by the NPCIL pushing for the Ministry of Environmental and Forests nod for the project.

Praveen Gavanhakar, a resident of the village who has formed the Janahit Seva Samiti and has been fighting against land acquisition, said that till date there has been no project report or environmental assessment. Gavanhakar used the Right to Information to get records showing that the site falls in a seismic zone four area and that there were 91 seismic recordings from 1985 to 2005.

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