The Central and state governments are not considering the Shiv Sena’s demand to scrap the nuclear power project at Jaitapur in the Konkan region. The 9,900-MW project that was cleared by the UPA government at the Centre and pushed by the Prithviraj Chavan dispensation in the state will go on schedule, sources privy to the development told The Indian Express.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed clearly to the state government that there is no option to review the Jaitapur decision, but issues raised by the Shiv Sena could be discussed to allay any apprehensions.
A senior state cabinet minister told The Indian Express, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi already met Sena members in New Delhi on the issue. Now, where is the question of a rethink? Sena also needs to look at the issue with open mind.”
Shiv Sena is consistently voicing its opposition to Jaitapur project and the land acquisition bill. A BJP leader said, “Now, the Maharashtra government has made provisions for 25 per cent more compensation to farmers compared to the Centre. Individual farmers can directly negotiate the land price and decide before sale. The Sena has no reason to complain.”
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has repeatedly issued threats to take to the streets against the Jaitapur project. He believes the project would be hazardous for the Konkan region. A senior Sena functionary said, “The protest against the Jaitapur project is to send across a strong message across the country that the Sena is concerned about safeguarding the environment. It would appeal to people not only in Maharashtra but across the country. It also provides a political turf to Sena to retain its hold in the Konkan.”
Revenue and Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse said, “After Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis returns from China, we will discuss all the issues which are worrying the Sena including the Jaitapur project.”