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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jaitapur nuke plant will be a social disaster: TISS report- DNA

Jaitapur nuke plant will be a social disaster: TISS report

DNA / Ninad Siddhaye / Sunday, December 26, 2010 23:48 IST

A social impact assessment review conducted by Jamshetji Tata centre
for disaster management of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
has torn into the nuclear power plant being proposed at Jaitapur in the
Konkan region.

The report has indicated that the project — which
requires about 968 hectares of land panning five villages — will have a
huge negative impact on the social as well as environmental development
of not just these villages and the surrounding areas, but also on the
Konkan region in general.

The detailed report was prepared by
researchers in April. Some of the findings suggest that a large part of
land to be acquired for the project is being used for agriculture,
horticulture and grazing purposes, and that the government has subverted
facts by labelling it barren land.

“Farmers and horticulturists
have spent lakhs of rupees to make the land cultivable over years and
even the government has supported them. This includes Alfonso mangoes
and cashews. Now, when the time has come for them to reap their
investments, they are afraid of losing their land as the government now
claims it is barren land,” says the report. It adds that even the
fisherfolk of the region are against the project.

“Their fear
that the fishes will migrate to deeper waters due to release of hot
water from the reactors is not unjustified. Apart from fishing, other
allied activities will also be adversely affected,” says the report,
which was prepared after interviewing villagers.

One of the major
concerns expressed in the report is the lack of transparency in
dissemination of information about the project on the part of the
government and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). “It
is necessary that the government ensures full transparency in
implementation. But the information can be accessed only through RTI,
and people seem to be losing faith in the government,” the report

The report states there is a lack of clarity on the exact
amount of land that has been earmarked for acquisition. “Even the amount
of compensation and the kind of rehabilitation that the project
affected will get is not clear. Moreover, there is a lot of manipulation
of information, which is disturbing people.

Notification of area
from high severity earthquake zone to moderate seismic severity zone
seems to be one of them. The government is not only hiding facts, but
also manipulating them,” alleges the report.

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