Shiv Sena MPs took their issue with the Jaitapur nuclear power project to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, but they returned a disappointed lot.
While the Prime Minister assured them that their concerns about the project’s impact on the environment will be scientifically addressed, he requested them not to oppose a project that is of national importance and could lead to the development of the area.
The Sena MPs managed to meet the Modi after months of persuasion and threatening to protest outside his office.
The meeting was finalised after Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy intervened.
“There are 15-16 existing and proposed thermal plants in the Konkan, along with the nuclear plant. The Konkan area will be doomed this way. Also, it falls under the high-intensity seismic zone 4, which also a major concern. We want it to be relocated,” said MP Anil Desai after the meeting.
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray tweeted about the issue: “The locals don’t want 100% risk in Jaitapur, Maharashtra. It cannot be forced and put up there. We have constantly voiced this issue, will do so (sic).”
The Sena has been protesting against the 9,900 MW nuclear power plant at Ratnagiri.
Their protests intensified after the Prime Minister signed an early works agreement with French company Areva last month to start work on the power reactor plants.
The Sena’s contention is that the plant will be dangerous for the locals and detrimental to the interests of the Muslim fishing villages of Sakhri Nate.
However, on the ground, it is a different story.
Around 73% of the 2,336 land title holders who gave up their land for the plant have got compensation and the remaining 27% have agreed to give their land for the project.
Amjad Borkar, the head of the Muslim fishing village that had once rebelled against the nuclear power plant, has now joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and is looking at an amicable solution.
Sena and Jaitapur
* Shiv Sena has been protesting against the 9,900 MW Jaitapur nuclear plant at Ratnagiri, saying the plant will prove harm the environment and the locals
* The party had made the Jaitapur project a poll issue before both the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections last year
* One of its pre-poll promises was to get the project scrapped
Situation on land
73% of the 2,336 land title holders who gave up their land for the plant have got their compensation. The remaining have agreed to the project
What the PM said
Prime minister Narendra Modi told the Sena MPs who met him that their environmental concerns will be scientifically verified. He asked them not to oppose a project that is of national importance