Almost three weeks after the union environment ministry gave a green clearance to the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant at Ratnagiri district, a nine-member committee has been formed to prepare a biodiversity conservation plan for the region. The biodiversity conservation plan is one of the 23 conditions laid down by the ministry while according the green clearance on December 6.
Headed by AR Rahmani, director, Bombay Natural History Society - also the nodal agency - the committee constituted by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) will have to submit a plan to the ministry within 12 months.
"Although the plant site covers an area of only five kms, we have been asked to take care of biodiversity for an area of 10 kms," said C B Jain, project manager of the plant.
"The funding for the plan will be based on actual expenditure."
Apart from the conservation plan, the ministry also said that the mangroves in and around the plant site would have to be maintained.
The committee will also monitor the implementation of the environment management plan and put in place safeguard measures to ensure fisheries and livelihood of the fishing communities are not affected.
The ministry laid down the 23 conditions on the basis of a detailed biodiversity assessment report prepared by BNHS.
The report said that the Jaitapur region - around 10kms radius around the project site - is rich in biodiversity and that the project could have an adverse impact on rich marine species diversity and hence needs to be protected by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.
The nuclear power plant will house six European light water reactors imported from Areva, a French company, and is poised to generate 9,900 megawatt power.