“We don’t want more money… we don’t want Jaitapur”


Mumbai, February 15, 2013

Staff Reporter, The Hindi

The Maharashtra government’s decision to give increased compensation to the Project-Affected People (PAP) of the proposed 9900-MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP), in the backdrop of French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India, has met with serious opposition.

The farmers and fishermen fighting against the JNPP on Thursday rejected the increased compensation package declared by the government, calling it a “cruel joke.”

“Never in our struggle against the project in the last three years, had we asked for increased compensation. We are against the nuclear project and will not let it happen even if the compensation is increased further,” said Pravin Gavankar, president, Janhit Seva Samiti, a people’s body fighting against the proposed power plant.

“The corrupt government feels that villagers can be bought. We want to tell them that we do not want money and we do not want the project,” he said.

The government had on Tuesday approved increased compensation. As per the revised package, the PAP would now get Rs. 22.5 lakh per hectare instead of the earlier compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh per hectare. However, the government has made it clear that the increased compensation would be solely for the JNPP and not for any other project in the State.

The JNPP, to be set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), is a part of the India-France civilian nuclear cooperation. In 2010, prior to the visit of the then President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) had given environmental clearance to the project, with 35 conditions.

“The spineless Indian government seems hell-bent on satisfying the French government at any cost, rather than its own people. Every time those French officials visit India, our government makes announcements related to JNPP. It is the lowest level to which any government can fall,” said Satyajit Chavan, convener, Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti, an umbrella body of organisations opposing the JNPP.

The protesters have planned a m

arch in Mumbai during the State Assembly session to be held next month.

 

Immediate Release-Jaitapur – Death anniversary


Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Ge...

Internationally recognized symbol. Deutsch: Gefahrensymbol für Radioaktivität. Image:Radioactive.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  Jaitapur – Road named in Nate in memory of the late Tarbej

18th April 2011, exactly one year ago the people’s expression of anger against the proposed 9900 MW power project at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra was on full display. People were continuously protesting from 2005 when the land acquisition was set in motion and against environment clearance granted by the central government. A group of furious women ransacked and burnt papers and furniture at the Nate police station. The tension between the police and the people mounted which culminated in the police firing causing the death of Tarbej Sayekar, a 27 year youth.

The people in the Jaitapur locality observed the first death anniversary of martyr Tarbej Sayekar by observing a bandh and once again opposing the Jaitapur power project. On this occasion, between 3 to 5 in the afternoon, a crowd of about 3000 people gathered together and offered their tributes to martyr Tarbej Sayekar by reading the Koran.

Shri Kolse Patil ex High Court judge; Smt Vaishali Patil, activist against nuclear project; MLA Rajan Salvi, Jamat-e-islam’s Abdul Faroqui and Mohammed Kazi; Shri Gopal Dhukand; President of the Machimar Kruti Samithi and a local leader, Shri Ahmjed Borkar; Mansur Solkar, Satyajit Chauhan and other persons were present on the occasion.

Inspite of the High Court having decided as illegal the externment order by the collector of Ratnagiri against important activists and leaders, the police of Ratnagiri have started the process of issuing an order of externment to Smt Vaishali Patil under the Mumbai Police Act 1956. The final order is awaited. The people against the nuclear project see this act of police as unjustified and have become aggressive on this issue. Even today ex judge Kolse Patil and Vaishali Patil were served notice u/s 149 of the Crpc Before attending the function. Kolse Patil said the best tribute to Tarbej would be the closure of the nuclear plant and to fight for it  to make it come true.Smt Vaishali Patil expressed her confidence that the death of Tarbej will not go in vain. The Father of the deceased Shri Sattar Latif Sayekar thanked all those organizations, institutions, political parties, MLAs and representatives who visited and offered their condolences and helped his family during the last one year. However, he also condemned the insensitivity of the present government for neither visiting his family nor helping them financially.

Shri Ahmjad Borkar, the leader of the fisherfolks gathered together on the Jaitapur – Nate road, the place of sacrifice of Tarbej and offered community prayers amidst the recitation of kuran. The people of Jaitapur and Nate walked in a procession with the name plate of Tarbej and christened the Jaitapur-Nate road as Tarbaj Soyekar Road. The women present could not control their tears, while the silent youth held high placards that read “Not let your death go in vain”. This was their way of paying their tributes to Tarbej.

The protests in Jaitapur against the pro- posed nuclear power project took an ugly turn on Monday with the death of a protester in a police firing.

The victim was part of a mob that had attacked a police station in the district and set it on fire.

Around eight policemen were also injured in the incident.Home minister R.R. Patil said that there is also an apprehension that villagers had decamped with police arms during the attack on the police station.

The incident also affected the business of the legisla- tive Assembly, which was adjourned for the day after pandemonium over the police firing in Jaitapur.

According to Mr Patil, a group of protesters attacked the Nate police station in Jaitapur and set it on fire. In defence, the police fired rounds in the air to disperse the aggressive mob.

A man identified as Tarbej Sahakar died in the police firing, Mr R.R Patil said.

“The police had to open fire as last resort. A deputy superintendent of police and some constables have also been injured in the stone pelting by the protest- ers,” Mr Patil said.

The home minister admit-

ted that the situation in Jaitapur has been since Union environment and for- est minister Jairam Ramesh stated that there was no need to re-think over the nuclear project in the dis- trict.

“People from nearby vil- lages had gathered together to stage a demonstration at the project site. Therefore, most policemen were deployed at the site to avoid any untoward incident.

Only five policemen were present at the police station when it was attacked,” Mr Patil said.

However, Mr Patil’s state- ment drew angry criticism from the Opposition. The Opposition MLAs accused the government of not tak- ing the protests seriously, and the House had to be adjourned for 10 minutes.

Earlier, Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam had raised the issue in the legislative council. However, industry minister Narayan Rane had claimed that there was no casualty. “Around 100 to 130 workers of a political party tried to enter the pro- ject site. When the police tried to stop them, the party workers pelted stones, which is why the police had to resort to cane charge and later also fire few rounds in the air. But nobody was dead or injured in the police firing,” Mr Rane said.

Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project is a proposed 9900 MW power project of Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra. If built, it would be the largest nuclear power generating station in the world by net electrical power rating.

 

On December 6, 2010 agreement was signed for the construction of first set of two third-generation European Pressurized Reactors and the supply of nuclear fuel for 25 years in the presence of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

 

French nuclear engineering firm Areva S.A. and Indian state-owned nuclear operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India signed this multi billion valued agreement of about $9.3 billion. This is a general framework agreement along with agreement on ‘Protection of Confidentiality of Technical Data and Information Relating to Nuclear Power Corporation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy’ was also signed.

 

Debate about the nuclear power project at Jaitapur is ongoing on various levels. Environmental effects of nuclear power and geological issues have been raised by anti nuclear activists. Many protests have been carried out by local people against the proposed nuclear power plant. On December 4, 2010, protests became violent when over 1500 people were detained from among thousands of protesters, who included environmentalists and local villagers. On April 18, 2011, one man was shot and killed by police and eight were injured after protests turned violent.

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