The environmental impact assessment (EIA) report prepared by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, termed the area around the Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri as “ rocky and barren”.
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), which prepared a bio-diversity report, for the same area found 134 species of plants as well as 407 hectares mangroves. The Union environment ministry relied heavily on the BNHS report and laid down 35 environmental safeguards for the area while granting a green nod to the project on Sunday.
Scientists have raised questions about the objectivity of the NEERI report, which was commissioned by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, which is building the nuclear plant. Refusing to comment on the discrepancies in the two reports, environment minister Jairam Ramesh told HT, “I have said whatever I had to say in my (clearance) note. Nothing much to add.”
Despite repeated efforts, NEERI director S Wate was unavailable for comment.