The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has abandoned its plan to set up a 6000 MW nuclear power plant at Chhaya-Mithivirdi village of Bhavanagar district in Gujarat. NPCIL and Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) informed this decision to the Pune bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) while adding that the proposed project will now be shifted to Kavvada in Andhra Pradesh.
NPCIL’s decision was made public on Thursday. The Pune bench of NGT was hearing a petition jointly moved by villagers from Chhaya-Mithivirdi and environmentalists such as Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant Chauhan challenging the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance granted to NPCIL by the Union Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) for the project.
On May 18, during the hearing of the petition by a two-member bench -Justice U D Salvi as judicial member and Ranjan Chatterjee as expert member – counsel for the respondents informed that the proposed project will be shifted to Kavvada, Andhra Pradesh ‘on account of delay in land acquisition at Chhaya-Mithivirdi site’. And accordingly, it was also conveyed to the NGT that the proposal for Environment Clearance before MoEF has been de-listed.
Following the N-Deal between India and United States during the tenure of previous UPA-II Government, the NPCIL had proposed an N-power project in Chhaya-Mithivirdi village. The project authorities had proposed to acquire 777 hectares of land from around 340 agricultural land owners of Bhavnagar district.
However, the proposed project witnessed stiff opposition from the local villagers who were not ready to give up their fertile agriculture land for the same. They eventually challenged the CRZ clearance granted to the project by MoEF in March 2015 before NGT.
Following submission from the authorities that the project has been shifted to Andhra Pradesh, the petition was disposed of.
Expressing rejoice over the development, Rohit Prajapati said, “This project has been shifted out from Gujarat. But, we will continue to fight against it anywhere in and outside India.”