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Villagers slam Narayan Rane’s remarks on Jaitapur power project

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

From the DNA Newspaper

October 21, 2010

Villagers from Madban, Niveli, Mithgavhane, Karel and Ansure, the five villages which will come under the proposed 9,900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Ratnagiri district, gathered in Mumbai on Wednesday, protesting against revenue minister Narayan Rane’s remarks, where he stated that the villagers are supporting the power project.

“We, and when I say we, I mean all five villages, have been protesting against the project from 2005. If we are to believe Rane that villagers are supporting the project, then he should explain to us why these villages have been facing section 144 and 151, which prevents people from gathering at one spot, and who opposed the contractors on August 2, from surveying the area?” said Shailesh Waghdhare, one of the villagers from Madban.

The villagers claimed that none of the villages have accepted the compensation package. “We are not ready to give our farmlands for the project. The question of compensation package does not arise. No one has asked the government for money. Why are they creating a false picture of us?” said Shamsundar Narvekar, another villager.

Bhikaji Waghadhare, sarpanch of Madban, said that police commissionerate, Konkan region Paramveer Singh has been coming to the villages saying he wants to maintain law and order.

“The villages have been flooded with police vans and police personnel. That is because the government wants to suppress our agitation. I was arrested for protesting against the project. Isn’t it enough to prove that villagers are against the project?” said Waghadhare.

The agitators are firm on their stand saying no compensation package will satisfy them because they do not want to lose their farmland at any cost. “We understand the power need. We are not anti-national. But how can the government even think of power generation by destroying our lives? We survive on agriculture and fishery business, which will be taken away from us. We will not let this happen, at any cost,” said Mangesh Kaskar of Niveli village.
The government’s compensation package was burned publicly in Ratnagiri on Sunday, as a sign of protest. The villagers have made it clear that their agitation will intensify in coming months if the government fails to take back its decision.

Jaitapur villages reject package

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

The Hindu, Special Correspondent

October 21, 2010

MUMBAI: Villagers protesting against the Jaitapur nuclear power project are planning a jail bharo agitation from October 29 to demand the scrapping of the project.

They have also rejected the proposed enhanced compensation to be given by the government, saying they will fight the project till their last breath.

The State government and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) signed an MOU last Saturday to enhance the compensation package for the project. A committee headed by the district collector of Ratnagiri will revise and finalise the amount of compensation for the farmers who have so far refused to accept the cheques from the government, which has acquired the land.

At a press conference on Wednesday, members of the Janahit Seva Samiti and other groups countered State Revenue Minister Narayan Rane’s remarks as he announced the MOU, saying that the local people were for the project while it was the outsiders who were instigating the protests.

Several people from the four affected villages travelled to Mumbai to prove that this was far from the truth. Madban sarpanch Bhikaji Waghdare, saying that police were posted there all the time and prohibitory orders were imposed in the area, questioned whether this did not show that local people were involved in the protest.

Jaitapur power plant: Panel to finalise farmers’ compensation

October 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Hindu Businessline

Maharashtra signs pact with NPCIL for rehabilitation.

October 17, 2010

A Maharashtra Government committee led by the Collector of Ratnagiri would be constituted for finalising the compensation package for farmers who will have to give up their lands for the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

This was announced by the Maharashtra Revenue Minister, Mr Narayan Rane, on the occasion of signing a memorandum of understanding with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. The MoU is on the rehabilitation package for the people affected by the upcoming plant. NPCIL wants to set up a 10,000 MW nuclear park at Jaitapur, spread over 938 hectares, in four villages. The project would require an investment of about Rs 1,00,000 crore spread over 15 years.

Compensation package

The committee, in which the village sarpanch is also a member, has been given powers to revise the compensation package. The revised package would be subject to approval by Mr Rane. “We won’t allow exploitation of farmers; they will get value for their land according to market rates. I will personally monitor the process,” Mr Rane said. The local farmers are in favour of the project. Whatever happens, the project will go ahead, Mr Rane said.

The Maharashtra Principal Secretary (Relief and Rehabilitation), Mr J.S. Saharia, said the compensation package was about Rs 2 crore for each of the affected villages, with a recurring expenditure of Rs 25 lakh/ annum for a village. Permanent job for the farmers’ kin or Rs 5 lakh compensation, plus an additional amount equivalent to 375-750 days of agricultural wages for lifetime will compensate for the loss of livelihood, he said.

The Chairman and Managing Director of NPCIL, Dr S.K. Jain, said that the plant would be safe and economical. He also reiterated that the company is not under any duress to buy the evolutionary pressurised reactors from Areva company of France. Purchase of reactors from Areva is under consideration with the Department of Atomic Energy for the Jaitapur plant.

Jaitapur nuclear plant will cost Rs 1-lakh cr

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Hindu Businessline Bureau

Mumbai, Oct. 15 Nuclear Power Corporation of India’s 10,000-MW plant being set up at Jaitapur, Maharashtra, will need funding of nearly €10 billion (Rs 68,720 crore), said Dr S. K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, here on Wednesday.

Areva of France will supply two reactors of 1,650 MW each for the first of the three-phase project which will eventually cost over Rs 1 lakh crore. This will be NPCIL’s largest nuclear power plant and will be built over 15 years.

The land acquisition process is complete. The groundbreaking is scheduled for early 2011.

Dr Jain told reporters at the Second Indo-French Nuclear Industry Business Meet that the project would have a 70:30 debt equity ratio. As the company has cash reserves of over Rs 13,000 crore, the equity component can be comfortably met, he said.

NPCIL will, for the first time, tap the Export Credit Agency (ECA) and External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) route for raising debt. Dr Jain said talks were on with French banks which have assured debt funding for the first phase.

“The interest rate will be cheaper than ECBs. Banks such as BNP Paribas and Calyon are in a position to underwrite nearly €2 billion of debt and can borrow more for their own syndicate if needed. The exact debt funding requirement will be known when the techno commercial talks are through,” he said.

Mr J. K. Ghai, Director (Finance), NPCIL, said the project cost in the first phase would be in the region of Rs 33,000 crore. While Rs 15,000 crore will be financed through the French ECA at six per cent interest, Rs 8,000 crore will be raised overseas and Rs 10,000 crore will be equity, he said.

“Since the project is supported by the French and Indian governments, the banks are comfortable lending to us. Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Natixix, Calyon and HSBC Bank are part of the ECA lending group,” Mr Ghai said.

Dr Jain said that the third generation, European pressurised reactor from Areva had advanced safety features whose technical specifications would be finalised by the end of the month.

According to him, NPCIL will need about 7,000 tonnes of imported uranium to operate the country’s nuclear power programme.

“Our strategy is to have lifetime supply of fuel, fuel fabrication and services of fuel enrichment facilities,” he said.