Green signal for N-plant remains

Opposition to Jaitapur project irks minister

“As far as environment clearance is concerned, we have done all that is required. Different interest groups should not use environment as a shield or cloak behind which they start firing their guns at government,”Ramesh said here on Wednesday.

The site — proposed to house six 1,650 MWe nuclear reactors supplied by French energy major Areva — remains a bone of contention between the centre and various non-governmental organisations as well as opposition parties that claim the nuclear park not only will destroy the biodiversity of coastal Maharashtra but would also harm the local population in some way or other.

Asked whether his ministry would review the sanctions accorded to Jaitapur project,
Ramesh not only answered in the negative but added that the issue was being politicised by the BJP and the CPM as they were unhappy with the success of the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The approval given in October came with 35 conditions including a detailed assessment on the risk to the biodiversity of the region and strict monitoring plan not only on the radio-active substances but also on the cooling water.

The conditions, Ramesh stated while according the sanctions, would provide an essential middle-ground to reconcile the objectives of economic growth, fuel-mix diversification, global diplomacy and environmental protection.

The minister’s refusal to relook at the approval coincided with a report from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, which said that the government should not “force the project”on local people.

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