A six-member Maharashtra Congress delegation that visited the site of the 9,900 MW Jaitapur nuclear power park on Wednesday said the state government should have taken locals into confidence before going ahead with the project.
The visit by Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), led by Hussain Dalwai, comes in the wake of a social impact assessment report which has slammed the project contending it would have a negative social and environmental impact on nearby villages.
The 40-page report, compiled by a disaster management centre of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), has analysed the social impact the project would have on seven villages where the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd is in the process of acquiring about 968 hectares of land.
The report by social scientists of TISS suggests that a large part of land to be acquired for the project and which the government had termed as barren land, is being used for agriculture, horticulture and grazing purposes. “... The government should have taken the people into confidence before we began this project,” said Dalwai, who along with five others, held meetings at Jaitapur and Sakharinata. “There is utter confusion in the minds of the people... So, we wanted to find out what is the truth.” Dalwai said he would brief CM Prithviraj Chavan about the visit. clearance to stay
In Delhi, environment minister Jairam Ramesh seemed unfazed by growing opposition to the nuclear power plant.
“As far as environment clearance is concerned, we have done all that is required and all different interest groups should not use environment as a shield behind which they start firing their guns at government,” Ramesh said when asked whether the ministry would have a rethink over the clearance.
Noting that “many people have different agenda” in Jaitapur, Ramesh asked those opposing the clearance not to “make mockery” of the process.