Clearing the hurdle in setting up of the world's first global centre for nuclear energy partnership (GCNEP) at Kheri and Jassaur villages near Bahadurgarh, in Jhajjar district of Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana high court disposed of a petition by stating that a public interest litigation (PIL) could not be considered against the larger public interest.
The joint panchayat of Kheri and Jassaur villages had filed a PIL in October last year, challenging the sale of around 207 acres, 7 kanal and 13 marlas of village common land for the project to the union department of atomic energy without the panchayat's approval.
GCNEP, which was announced in December 2010, will consist five schools for the purpose of advance research and training of nuclear systems and facilities and is coming up with the assistance and collaboration of United States, Russia and France. It will focus on innovation of proliferation-resistant nuclear reactors, deliberations on nuclear safety, effects of radiation exposure and would conduct short-term training courses for nuclear experts from across the globe.
Disposing of the PIL, the division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, however, made it clear to the state government that the around Rs 70 crore released by the Centre for land acquisition for the project would only be used for the development and interest of the two villages.
The bench said that though the principal amount would remain in a fixed deposit account, the panchayat would be able to spend the interest earned on the principal amount for the developmental work of the villages.
Appearing for the Centre, senior standing counsel Sukhdeep Singh Sandhu submitted that the acquisition of land for the project was in larger public interest and, looking at the social responsibility towards the villagers, a number of facilities like a girls' college, computer centre etc had been sanctioned. Sandhu added the village panchayat would earn an interest of Rs 50 lakh per month on the principal amount, which could be utilitised for the development of the villages.