Despite protests, Haryana to acquire land for nuclear plant

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 09:45 Harikumar B
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NuclearThe Haryana government will go ahead with acquiring land for a controversial nuclear power plant in Fatehabad district despite continued protests from farmers and residents of the area against the project. A senior official said  that the next notification regarding the project is likely to be made by July end.

‘The notification under Section 4 (of the Land Acquisition Act) was issued July 29, 2010, and information about it was published in various newspapers Aug 14, 2010. There is a provision to issue Section 6 after a year, and it will probably be issued July 28, 2011,' Sanjeev Kaushal, managing director of the Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited (HPGCL), said here.

Tension and anxiety have been running high among farmers in the Gorakhpur area of Fatehabad district, over 350 km from here, after the recent nuclear crisis in Japan's Fukushima plant.

The state government proposes to acquire over 1,500 acres of land for the nuclear power plant with four units of 700 MW capacity each, to be set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

Farmers in the area have been holding protests in Fatehabad since July last year when the acquisition notification was issued.

‘While the state government says that the acquired land is not fertile, farmers have been growing crops there,' farmer Hans Raj told IANS.

NPCIL's executive director K.B. Dixit Monday gave a presentation at the HPGCL headquarters in Panchkula, 15 km from here, saying that all the nuclear power plants in India were safe.

‘All the nine nuclear plants in India are fully safe and working properly and India will never face Japan-like situation after an earthquake and Tsunami as there is a lot of geographical difference between the two countries,' Dixit said here.

No representative of the agitating farmers attended the meeting.

Nearly 1,314 acres of land for the nuclear plant falls in Gorakhpur and Kajaheri villages of the district. The government, so far, has control of only 38 acres of land, which is owned by the panchayat (village council).

Kaushal said: ‘There is no political dispute about the location of the plant. Sanction for the nuclear plant at Gorakhpur (in Fatehabad) had been granted in 1984 by the Haryana government, and thereafter, successive governments had approved it. Surveys were carried out in 2000-01, 2004 and 2007 and the notification was finally issued in July 2010.'

Jyoti Arora, managing director of transmission and special secretary for power, said: ‘A special team of the NPCL had come today (Monday) to remove all fears and apprehensions regarding the upcoming nuclear power plants in Fatehabad district. These (nuclear) plants are very safe and the officials concerned will clear all the doubts regarding them.'

Source- inewsone