Locals barred from entering Jaitapur

Locals barred from entering Jaitapur

Heavy police deployment at the controversial site of proposed Jaitapur nuclear power project, in Konkan, barred over a thousand locals from entering their once-upon-a-time homeland, on Wednesday morning.

The agitation, even though symbolic, attracted thousands of villagers comprising farmers and fishermen, primarily from four regions - Madban, Karel, Neeveli and Nate.

The police in the wake of proposed march to ‘take-over,’ the 730 hectares of land on which the proposed 9,900 MW power project is to be constructed, had declared the area under Section 144 starting midnight.

Talking to Deccan Herald from Ratnagiri, Satyajit Chavan of Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samit said that the police had rounded up at least 35 local leaders including those from the region. “The agitation is primarily symbolic. Both farmers as well as the fishing community from Nate village knew beforehand that the armed police personnel will not allow them entry; but the point is to keep the agitation burning and issue alive,” Chavan said.

Externed social activist Vaishali Patil from Raigad said: “Interestingly, the agitating peasants had also brought their cattle and goats along with them to Jaitapur, to voice their protest over the usurping of their land.

“Moreover, the locals’ anger is not just confined to the land usurping by the state. This is the second time that fishing community has also come out in open...the fishermen apprehend that the power projects in all likelihood will have a detrimental effect on marine life,” Patil said.

Maharashtra Machimar Kriti Samiti chairperson (Raigad) Amjad Borkar elaborating on the rising ebb of anger amongst Konkan locals, said: “Konkan is a pre-dominantly fishing belt...and we have made several representations to the state government as well as to the Centre seeking a scientific analysis of the type and extent of impact that would take place once power projects gets commissioned.”

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