Nuke power plant may be delayed by 6 months
The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri is likely to be delayed by six months owing to opposition from several villagers to hand over their land for the proposed project.mumbai Updated: Nov 28, 2009 02:03 IST
The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri is likely to be delayed by six months owing to opposition from several villagers to hand over their land for the proposed project.
“The land acquisition process was to be completed by January. But with the hurdles, it seems like the project will now start in May,” said S.P. Dharne of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) on Friday.
“We can start the project only once the state government hands the land to us. The time frame for the project cannot be decided till land acquisition is over,” added Dharne, on the sidelines of a press conference.
Acquisition for the 938 hectares that will house six imported light water reactors from France hasn’t inched forward since October. Villagers in Niweli, Mithgawane, Varilvada and Karel in Ratnagiri district have refused to part with their paddy fields, mango orchards and acres of dry grass in exchange for compensation cheques. The state is yet to take one-sided possession of the land as provided by the law.
NPCIL officials said so far only 248 hectares have been acquired from seven villagers which have accepted the compensation cheques. While the reactors will be set up on 700 hectares in Madban, the remaining area will have schools, hospitals, residential colonies and other utilities for the staff.
Of the six reactors poised to generate 1,650 megawatt each, the government-run company has got permission to build two reactors in the first phase.
“The design of the plant is ready and is currently undergoing simultaneous certifications by Indian and American agencies. From the day the ground is dug, the two imported reactors will be operational within five years,” said Dharne.
While the entire land is privately owned, 94 per cent of it is non-agricultural. Although villagers alleged the compensation is measly — Rs 3 per square feet in contrast to Rs 10,000 per sq feet offered in Jaitapur village that is 8 km away — they are not open to negotiation.
Till date, NPCIL has given the state Rs 16 crore as compensation for 938 hectares. “We are willing to negotiate if the villagers want more money for their land. But we have no role in fixing the amount,” said K.B. Dixit, executive director, engineering section, NPCIL.