Amidst protests from villagers, the Maharashtra government on Friday completed the process of acquiring 938 hectares of land for the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri.
The land has now been handed over to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), which will build the power plant.
“On behalf of the collector, the executive magistrate handed over the land to the government. We have handed it over to NPCIL,” said Makarand Deshmukh, special land acquisition officer.
Friday afternoon saw about 250 villagers from Madban, one of the affected villages, huddled into police vans and taken to Lanja police station. “We were called to collect compensation cheques and around 1,000 of us went to the gram panchayat office and shouted slogans. The police lathicharged us,” said Pramila Gavankar whose husband Pravin is among those arrested.
None of the villagers have accepted the compensation in exchange for their land. “The compensation cheques are in the government treasury. Villagers can collect them at any point of time,” said Deshmukh.
Friday was the last day for acquiring the land, which will house the six French reactors that will generate 10,000 megawatts of power.
Work is likely to begin in May after the public hearing is over.