Coinciding with the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to India, hundreds of people on Saturday staged a protest near Jaitapur, the site of the proposed nuclear power project to be built in collaboration with the France-based company Areva.
The protesters included environmentalists, villagers and farmers, who do not want to give away their land for the mega project in the coastal Ratnagiri district. The multi-billion project was cleared by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests late last month with some conditions.
Scores of protesters, including leaders like Arun Velaskar, were arrested at Madban, around 12km from Jaitapur, and taken away in vans, police said.
Those arrested included leaders of voluntary groups Konkan Bachao Andolan and Janahit Seva Samiti, which are spearheading the stir, the activists said, adding, the local fishing community also took part in the demonstration.
In Mumbai, a coalition of several trade unions and NGOs has also planned protest against the environment clearance for the 9,900 MW venture.
According to the Government, the final contracts are expected to be signed in the first half of 2011. There will be six reactors with a capacity of 1,650 MW each. The first unit is expected to become operational by 2018.