Jaitapur nuke plant: Locals reject compensation
Locals affected by the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri district on Thursday said they do not want the project and refused any compensation offered for their land, even if it is at the market rate.mumbai Updated: Jul 24, 2010 00:47 IST
Locals affected by the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri district on Thursday said they do not want the project and refused any compensation offered for their land, even if it is at the market rate.
Their rebuttal is following last week’s announcement by Energy Minister Ajit Pawar to a question posed in the ongoing legislative session that villagers affected by the proposed 10,000 megawatt nuclear power plant will be compensated in accordance to the current land prices and jobs would also be offered.
"Who has told Ajit Pawar that we need more money for our land or even jobs? We do not want the plant on our land," said Premanand Tiwarkar, who owns lands in Madban, which is poised to house six European light water reactors.
"Even the 600 objections that were recorded at the public hearing do not mention our objections on the compensation amount."
Though the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited has acquired the entire 938 hectare land across five villages, villagers are questioning the premise on which their lands were acquired.
Villagers were offered Rs 2.86 per square foot.
Except seven villagers, none of the 700-odd families have accepted compensation cheques.
Shashikant Joshi (73) who owns 47-hectare land in Karel that has mango orchards and cashew trees also refused Rs 25 lakh for his plot.
Instead, in April, Joshi and residents from Niweli and Mithgawane villages filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Bombay High Court primarily challenging forceful acquisition of his land and issues of security incase of a radiation leak. The case is pending the court.
"The state government invoked an emergency clause in the land acquisition act and has taken our land without recording our objections. But they ignored the clause that gives people the right to raise objections," said Joshi, a retired employee of New India Assurance Company.
"But work of leveling the land and clearing it of shrubs and plants have already begun without environmental clearance."
With Mumbai only 250-odd kilometres away by aerial distance from the proposed site, former BARC scientist Pradeep Indulkar said, "Any radiation leak won't take time to reach the city. The repercussions will be manifold as compared to the Bhopal gas tragedy."