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Villagers to convey dissent to PM

As the ongoing protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu intensifies, villagers opposing the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri district have also decided to strengthen their agitation.

mumbai Updated: Oct 14, 2011 02:14 IST
Snehal Rebello

As the ongoing protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu intensifies, villagers opposing the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri district have also decided to strengthen their agitation.

The gram sabhas of the five affected villages have decided to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing their opposition against the nuclear power plant.

“We have used various platforms to voice our dissent against the plant for the last two years. But since not much has happened, we decided to write to the prime minister,” said Prakash Waghdare, resident of Madban, the plant site. “If the Prime Minister doesn’t react to this, it would mean he doesn’t respect the Indian constitution.”

Spread across 938 hectares, the proposed nuclear power plant will house six European Pressurised reactors imported from French company Areva and is poised to generate 9,900 megawatt power.

Taking a cue from their counterparts in Tamil Nadu, villagers have also decided to undertake a relay hunger strike. “While the project affected villagers are ready for the relay hunger strike, I am trying to mobilise people from neighbouring villagers to participate in the fast,” said Pravin Gavankar, another villager.

A ten-member delegation comprising villagers will join protestors of the Kudankulam plant in their hunger strike this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Bombay high court on October 11 granted permission to two retired judges AP Shah and SD Pandit to hold a public meeting at Madban to record the views of the villagers opposing the proposed Jaitapur plant. In May, a similar public meeting was held in Mumbai. “We are to finalise the date of the public hearing in Madban. In all likelihood, it will be conducted after Diwali,” said Vaishali Patil, an activist.