The Shiv Sena has made it clear it is still not in favour of the Jaitapur nuclear power plant coming up in the Konkan region on the western coast of Maharashtra.
This is likely to become a flashpoint, as the BJP has, on several occasions, made it clear it will ensure the project sees the light of day after proper rehabilitation of the project-affected people (PAP).
The Shiv Sena is committed to the cause of Jaitapur, said Subhash Desai, industries minister, during his maiden visit to Kankavli in the Konkan region, after assuming the Cabinet post. “Our stand is clear; we are opposed to the [Jaitapur] project. The Shiv Sena is with the locals in the Konkan over the Jaitapur issue,” he said.
Maharashtra power minister and BJP leader Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the project is in the pipeline and will be implemented.
“We have agreed to give a compensation of Rs 22.50 lakh per hectare to the PAP. Of the 2,335 PAP, 1,721 have already collected their compensation,” said Bawankule.
According to officials, compensation worth Rs 186 crore or the Rs 210 crore, which is deposited with the collector, has been given to the villagers without a single displacement.
The Jaitapur power plant project initially witnessed tremendous opposition from locals, particularly from members of the fishing community, citing environmental concerns.
Today, the reality is different. About 73% of the 2,336 title holders have got their compensation, while the remaining 27% have given their consent, but are yet to receive the compensation owing to reasons such as unclear land titles.
Sakhri Nate, a fishing village, grabbed international headlines after a local, Tabrez, was shot following a street protest against the project. But today, the village leader, Amjad Borkar, has joined the BJP and has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find an amicable solution to the issue.
* In 2010, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) signed an agreement with French company, Areva, to set up a 9,900MW nuclear power plant at Jaitapur
* The nuclear power plant will be set up on 968 hectares of land
* The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1,000 billion.