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Show cause notice to environmental activist

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Anusha Subramanian in Business Today

March 4, 2011

Vaishali Patil, an activist with an organization that fights environmental destruction in the Konkan region, has been served a show cause notice on Friday morning by the Rajapur Executive Magistrate of Ratnagiri district. According to the notice, Patil, who works with the Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti, has been asked to give an assured guarantee of Rs 50,000 and also sign a bond of Rs 50,000 which promises that she will not break the peace in Jaitapur for at least one year.

The show cause notice has been issued to Patil on the grounds that she has been instrumental in provoking the people of Jaitapur to oppose the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) and the fact that she herself has participated in all the protests. Patil says she will challenge the order in court.

“This is how the authorities have been laying legal trap on all those opposing the JNPP project. So that we are running pillar to post trying to get out of the legal shackles,” she says. This show cause notice follows up several arrests that took place early this week. The police arrested Dr Milind Desai, a resident of Mithgavane village, and 10 others in a two-month-old case on charges of rioting, attempted murder, breaking the peace in Jaitapur and several other such charges. But villagers say Desai was arrested because he opposed the project and spoke against the state government. Desai had lashed out at the government by calling it ‘Shameless’ during Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s visit to Jaitapur on February 26, 2011.

Patil has been a target for some months now. During the CM’s visit, Narayan Rane, the State Industries Minister, was particularly angered by Patil’s presence and asked Konkan Inspector-General of Police Parambir Singh why outsiders were allowed to attend a public meeting addressed by the chief minister. Patil is from Raigad district and was instrumental in the protest against the Reliance SEZ project.

Rane then ordered the IG to ask Patil to leave the meeting. She and others were also asked to remove their black badges. Patil refused and when the police tried to evict her, women from the project-affected villages who were present at the meeting rose in her support and created a scene. Fearing there could be violence, the police did not act further and Patil stayed through the meeting.

While protestors did not resort to violent behaviour, tempers were running high and there was slogan shouting. The people made it clear to the government that they were against the JNPP.  At the public meeting in the presence of the CM, Prakash Waghdare from Madban village asked the audience to raise their hands if they opposed the project and nearly everyone in the audience did so. He said the government had to respect people’s feelings and cancel the project.

Nuclear Power Corporation dismisses reports of 10-fold increase in Jaitapur compensation package

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

From the DNA

March 4, 2011

Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) has said it will abide by any decision Maharashtra government takes on the quantum of rehabilitation package for the displaced persons at the proposed nuclear power plant site in Jaitapur in Konkan which is facing opposition from locals.

A senior NPCL official, however, dismissed as “speculation” media reports that there will be a 10-fold increase in the compensation amount for the land acquisition.

He said a committee appointed to go into additional compensation amount has submitted its final report to the state and NPCL will abide by whatever the Government decides.

The official said NPCIL chairman and managing director SK Jain’s recent announcement in Kolkata of “improving the rehabilitation package 10 times than the existing one” was misquoted.

“Jain spoke of a ten-time better package and not a 10-fold increase in the amount,” he clarified.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is treating the mega power project as a priority and an announcement of final compensation amount was likely soon, the official said.

Chavan last week visited Jaitapur in coastal Ratnagiri district and assured “maximum” compensation for the displaced, mostly farmers.

The new package will be in two parts: cash and fixed deposit component. Other likely aspects include 20 years of annuity for loss of livelihood, house, a job to the eligible in each family and lifetime pension for senior citizens.

NPCIL is hoping to sign the final agreement for supply of two reactors for Jaitapur from French atomic major Areva soon. Areva will supply six reactors as per the general agreement reached in December.