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Home News Power Sector News Locals are being misled on Jaitapur power project: Prithviraj Chavan

Locals are being misled on Jaitapur power project: Prithviraj Chavan

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Prithviraj ChavanMaharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan  accused "certain" political parties and outsiders of conducting false propaganda and misleading the locals about the upcoming 9,900mw Jaitapur nuclear power project in the coastal Ratnagiri district. Addressing the locals at Karel village near Jaitapur, Chavan said there was no basis to the objections raised by local outfits like Janhit Seva Samiti from Madban and fishing community in Sakhrinate village.

"I have received memorandum from the Samiti, the fishermen and Rajan Salvi, the Shiv Sena MLA from Rajapur. There is no substance in the objections... if there is 1% truth in it, I am prepared to make corrections and discuss. This is a national project and it is the duty of Maharashtra to stand by it," Chavan said.

Earlier, Chavan faced slogan shouting against the project.

He said there were several nuclear reactors in other coastal regions of the country and marine bio-diversity there had not been harmed.

"I am not a nuclear expert, but (I am) an engineer. I have studied this project carefully during my six years as minister in the prime minister's office. I definitely know much more than people present here," the chief minister said.

Chavan said it was not right to think that a chief minister would ever bring a project which would harm the local environment and put safety, welfare of people at risk.

Without naming anybody, he alleged that "foreign powers" were not interested in India's progress and development. "But we will prevail."

He said he was ready to discuss objections of the locals, arisen as a result of propaganda, point by point.

"Actually, there is no need for it. But, it is the greatness of our democracy that I came here to hear your objections," he said. He criticised Janhit Seva Samiti's leader, Pravin Gavankar, for justifying the boycott of the "open house" meeting held in Mumbai last month.

"Such people are afraid of facing the truth and the locals should understand where their interests and welfare lie," he said.

He expressed surprise at the Samiti demanding coal-based power plants instead of nuclear energy. "It is well known that coal-based plants are polluting," he said.

Chavan said in the next 20 years, India must increase its power generation capacity from 1,07,000mw to 6,00,000mw. "China's current capacity is 7,00,000mw which will be 9,00,000mw in the next five years," he stated.

He said despite the high cost of electricity per unit, the government was subsidising the solar energy. But some 20,000 hectares of land was required for it, he reminded the audience.

Chavan also stressed the need to reduce dependency on agriculture and promote industrialisation. "The population is increasing and agricultural land is decreasing."

The objections such as the nuclear power project may result in health hazards like cancer, or could be harmful to pregnant women, are without any scientific basis, he said.

State industries minister Narayan Rane urged the people to understand what was important to their future and not support "leaders with vested interests."

The opposition Shiv Sena is opposed to the project.

Source- DNA


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