Home > In the Media > Chavan bats for Jaitapur project, faces protests

Chavan bats for Jaitapur project, faces protests

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Sanjay Jog in Business Standard

February 27, 2011

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and opponents of the 10,000-megawatt Jaitapur nuclear power project on Saturday came face to face near the plant site in Ratnagiri district.

Chavan, also a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, appealed to the locals not to believe the “factually incorrect information” about the project, but extend cooperation in its development. However, the opponents, who had gathered under the banner of Janahit Seva Samiti, made a strong pitch for the cancellation of the project, return of land and withdrawal of all police cases.

This was the first time Chavan, along with industries minister Narayan Rane, rehabilitation minister Patangrao Kadam and Nuclear Power Corporation officials, visited the project site and listened to the opponents’ arguments.

The interactive session was marred by slogan-shouting and verbal duel between Rane and Shiv Sena legislator Rajan Salvi. While Shiv Sena is against the project, its electoral ally BJP has extended a conditional support.

Meanwhile, Union agriculture minister and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar batted in favour of the project.

“Power will be available at a cheaper rate and it will not have adverse impact on the environment. I have already talked to former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar and other agricultural scientists to understand project details. They are of the view that the project is clean,” he said at a party meeting in Navi Mumbai. He, however, said affected people should be given adequate compensation.

Chavan said some leaders were deliberately misleading people of Jaitapur for gaining political mileage. However, he assured the villagers that the government was ready to hold discussion on each and every objection being raised in this regard.

He said the project would not damage the environment, horticulture and fisheries, as it was based on nuclear power. The project entails an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore and it would help expedite the development of the region, according to him. The environment ministry has cleared the project with 32 stringent conditions.

Praveen Gavankar, a senior member of the Janahit Seva Samiti, alleged the project would be in violation of the Coastal Regulatory Zone norms though technically exempted.

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