Sena takes fresh guard, will intensify stir on Jaitapur plant

“When the world is re-thinking over use of nuclear power, why is India pressing for it? We should promote the use of solar power.”

Mumbai : Shiv Sena, ruling BJP’s ally in the government at the Centre and the state has decided to intensify its agitation against the Jaitapur nuclear power project.

The agitation, which had lapsed into a lull, appears to have started intensifying again and the Shiv Sena is planning to intensify it further. “We have always said that we are with local people. They have shown once again that they are willing to fight out the project and we shall help them by every means possible,” state environment minister Ramdas Kadam told FPJ.

The agitation against the project had reached its peak in 2010. Hardly any of the project affected people had accepted compensation cheques against their acquired land back then. However, the stuation has changed in the past few years and according to official agencies, almost all of the project affected people have now accepted the compensation.

This was the prime reason that the agitation in Sakhri Nate, Madban and adjoining villages in Ratnagiri dictrict, where the nuclear power project is supposed to be set up, had gone into a lull. However, with fresh leadership taking over, the agitation appears to have started warming up.

The first symptoms of the agitation gaining pace were seen last week, when on the eve of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India, around 1,000 people courted arrest in protest of the project.

This has also revived the Shiv Sena’s opposition to the project and Minister for Environment in the state cabinet Ramdas Kadam, who hails from Ratnagiri district, marked the party’s protest by sending a set of reports against the project to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It may be recalled that a delegation of Shiv Sena MPs had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few months ago to bring to his notice the concerns raised by the local people and also to appraise him of the Shiv Sena’s stand.

Now, taking a step further, Kadam has sent a detail report on how the power project will affect the environment of the Konkan region and how it will badly impact marine life.

“I have prepared a detail report running into over 418 pages. The report includes objections raised by Konkan Bachao Samiti, report of the committee on Western Ghat ecological conservation under the leadership of Madhav Gadgil, report of public hearing by Dr BJ Waghmare, Janhit Samiti and also report of public hearing of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB),” Kadam said.

“After the disaster in Japan’s nuclear power plant in 2010, Eauropean Union ordered ‘stress test’ on all of its 143 reactors whereas Germany too had announced to end the use of nuclear energy and promote renewable energy,” Kadam said.

“When the world is re-thinking over use of nuclear power, why is India pressing for it?” he asked. “We should focus on going green and promote the use of solar power.”

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