After leading protests against the Jaitapur nuclear power project from the front for over six years,Pravin Gavankar,founder of the Janhit Seva Samiti (JSS),has withdrawn from the protest and decided to accept a compensation cheque of about Rs 12 crore for the 52 hectares his family owns in Madban,one of the project-affected villages in Ratnagiri district.
Gavankar,60,is suffering from lung cancer,and cites ill-health for the move. However,it has turned the rest of the JSS against him,with secretary Shyamsundar Narvekar alleging he may have buckled under pressure.
The samiti,set up together with the Konkan Bachao Samiti in 2006,has been the most active group protesting against the project.
On August 30,however,Gavankar,along with a few others,met Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane to convey their consent to the project.