More villages refuse to give up land for nuclear plant | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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More villages refuse to give up land for nuclear plant

Two more villages in Ratnagiri district have refused to accept compensation cheques in exchange for their land where the Jaitapur nuclear power plant is likely to be set up.

mumbai Updated: Nov 23, 2009 00:24 IST
Snehal Rebello

Two more villages in Ratnagiri district have refused to accept compensation cheques in exchange for their land where the Jaitapur nuclear power plant is likely to be set up.

On Friday, 274 residents of Karel and Mithgawane villages voiced their opposition over surrendering their paddy fields, mango orchards and acres of dry grass to make way for the site which will house six imported European pressurised light water reactors. Locals of both these villages had even refused to accept the acquisition summons.

“Not a single villager accepted the cheques,” said Makarand Deshmukh, special land acquisition officer. “We will anyway go ahead with the land acquisition process.” In October, 187 villagers from Niweli had refused to accept cheques on two occasions.

The state government will now undertake one-sided possession of land in these three villages in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act.

Deshmukh said that after completing the acquisition process in five villages — Madban, Mithgawane, Karel, Niweli and Ansure — the land would be handed over to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd — even if compensation cheques are not accepted.

Villagers, however, are gearing up for public meetings on November 23 and November 24 where environmentalists and anti-nuclear activists will speak about nuclear hazards.

Having stuck posters in 50 villages of Rajapur taluka — the five villages fall under this area — they have undertaken a door-to-door campaign and will distribute about 6,000 leaflets info-rming them about the public meeting over the next two days.

At the proposed plant spread over 938-hectares, 700 hectares will house the reactors imported from France poised to 10,000 mega watts of power.

While the environmental clearance for the reactor site is still awaited, the current land acquisition process is to build housing colonies, schools, hospitals and other facilities for the staff employed at the plant.