The executive board of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) which is coming up with a 6,000 MW nuclear power project near Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district has given its approval to the Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) Package to be awarded to the project affected people. The R&R Package, sources said, is on the lines of the new Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act, 2013 and project authorities are likely to place it before the Gujarat government for its final approval.
Highly placed sources said that the R&R group of NPCIL has prepared a Draft R&R Package for the people to be displaced due to the project. Though, details of this package are not known, sources said, it is based on the new Land Acquisition Act. This package was placed before the executive board of NPCIL a few days back and the board has given its clearance to the same. Now, the R&R Package is likely to be placed before the Gujarat government for its sanction and final approval.
Following the N-Deal between India and United States during the tenure of previous UPA-II Government, the NPCIL has proposed an N-power project in Mithi Virdi village. The project authorities have proposed to acquire 777 hectares of land from around 340 agricultural land owners of Bhavnagar district. And discontent is brewing against the project among the farmers whose land might be acquired for the project.
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Having six nuclear reactors with power generation capacity of 1,000 MW each, the total estimated cost of the proposed project is around Rs 60,000 crore.
Right from the beginning when the project was first proposed it has witnessed opposition from the local villagers and environment activists on several grounds. The environment activists are opposing it on the grounds of safety and security of villagers and environment owing to possible radiation. They cite disasters like 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster of Japan after the plant was hit by a tsunami.
The villagers are opposing the project as they don’t want to part with their fertile land for the project. They have been regularly opposing the proposed acquisition of their land for the project.
Earlier this month, the villagers of Mithi Virdi, Jasapara, Khadarpar and Mandva – the four villages to be affected – had held a public meeting and took a vow to protect environment and not to part with their land for the project.