The Writ Petition filed by the Tarapur Anushakti Prakalp Pidit Janata Samiti is scheduled for daily hearings in the Bombay High Court starting from October 13. The project-affected persons (PAP) of the Tarapur Atomic Power Project 3&4 (TAPP 3&4) were initially reluctant to accept the rehabilitation package offered to them.
Struggles and dissatisfaction among PAPs
Despite immense pressure from the administration and for the national cause, the PAPs, who had relinquished their land, continued to fight for their demands. When all other solutions proved ineffective, the PAPs decided to file the Writ Petition.
The Tarapur Anushakti Prakalp Pidit Janata Samiti filed the Writ Petition number 5663 of 2004 in the Bombay High Court on behalf of 500 project-affected villagers from Akkarpatti and Pophran villages in Palghar taluka. Several issues within the rehabilitation process had caused dissatisfaction among the PAPs. These included concerns about the allocated land and built-up area, the substandard quality of construction, and the failure to provide land and houses for increasing family members of the PAPs due to natural growth.
Writ Petition and its historical context
The groundbreaking ceremony for TAPP 3&4 took place on October 10, 1998, when Ram Naik was the Member of Parliament for the North Mumbai parliamentary constituency, which included the TAPP site. Convinced by the PAPs' demands, in 2004, when he was the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, he advised that power generation should only commence after the proper rehabilitation and resettlement of the PAPs. This advice came at a time when the new power generation facilities were nearing completion.
Disheartened by the negligent attitude towards the matter, Ram Naik, who had witnessed all these developments, intervened in the case on January 31, 2005, to support the cause of the PAPs.
Prolonged legal battle
This petition has a long history, spanning 19 years, with 87 hearing dates and 38 orders.
In the initial stages, Justice Dr. Abhay Oak instructed the Maharashtra National Law University of Mumbai to establish a committee to visit every house in both rehabilitated villages, address the issues related to the petition, and submit a report.
During the latest hearing of this petition on September 6, Ram Naik brought the prolonged delay in the case to the attention of the Honorable Court. Considering this significant delay, Justice Kulkarni and Justice Jain have directed that daily hearings for this matter will commence from October 13.