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BJP reiterates support for Jaitapur nuclear power plant, despite Sena objections

In spite of opposition by partner Shiv Sena in the state government, the Bharatiya Janata Party has reiterated that the 9,900 MW nuclear power project at Jaitapur in the coastal Ratnagiri district will be developed by the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC). 

Further, state Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule clarified that the BJP-Shiv Sena government had not issued any ”stop work ” order and there has not been any opposition in the state cabinet to the project. He added that there has been no change to the project even after the BJP came to power. He also 

Bavankule’s statement in the state legislature on Tuesday further isolated Shiv Sena which continues to oppose the Jaitapur project even after joining the government on December 5. Both the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, who were in power for the past 15 years in the state, have been supportive of the project. 

State Environment Minister and Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam had reiterated party’s opposition to the nuclear power plant at Jaitapur during the winter session of the Assembly. Similarly, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, during a recent visit to the Konkan region, had insisted that the Centre shift the proposed nuclear project elsewhere and declared his party’s opposition to the power project. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and some other BJP leaders have already made a strong case for nuclear power and hinted that Jaitapur power project will be developed.

The government has already earmarked 2,000 hectares of land for the Jaitapur project, of which 938.026 hectares were acquired in 2010 and transferred to the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC). Bavakule claimed there has been no displacement of families living in the area. As per an understanding between the state government and NPC, a compensation of Rs 22.50 lakh per hectare will be provided to project affected persons (PAPs). 

So far, of a total 2,335 PAPs, 1,721 have collected compensation money worth Rs 185.79 crore. Nuclear Power Corporation had already deposited a total of Rs 211.05 crore with the Ratnagiri district collector towards compensation.

AREVA’s chief commercial executive officer Tarik Choho had recently told Business Standard that the construction times and commissioning dates are country specific as they depend on a number of factors such as the availability of resources, the level of localization, the reactor site to be built, and the approval process of the domestic safety authority among others. AREVA is initially supplying two evolutionary pressurized reactors of 1,650 MW each to Nuclear Power Corporation for Jaitapur project.

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