Villagers protest Mithi Virdi nuclear project(Slide-show)

Villagers protest Mithi Virdi nuclear project, police called
Photos by Mukesh Pandit
Bhavnagar, DeshGujarat, 11 June, 2010

Villagers of Jasapara and about five nearby villages in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district today prevented surveyors to carry out survey of the land for proposed Mithi Virdi nuclear power project here . Survey team’s truck, containing a generator set and two iron pipes was gheraoed by protesting villagers. Police was called on to control the locals. The issue was settled soon, but just temporarily. The surveyor team had to go back in view of the local protest. Jasapara’s lady Sarpanch said, “we would give our life, but not allow nuclear plant here.”

Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) which is planning to set up a 6,000 Mw nuclear power project in the area, but facing protests from farmers who are refusing to make way for the Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 500 billion) project, the first major initiative after the civilian nuclear agreement between India and the US.

About 30 odd villages have collectively signed a petition and informed the authorities about their stand.

About 1,000 hectare of land has been surveyed by government officials in the recent past. Though the name given to the project is Mithi Virdi Atomic Power Project, the area identified is about two km away from Mithi Virdi and is called Jasapara.

Anti-nuclear activists led by local Arun Dave, Damayantiben Modi of Lok Bharati Sanstha have formed a group called the Atomic Energy Study Group and have been distributing pamphlets and showing films about the accidents of nuclear plants in places like Chernobyl.

Local villagers have mainly three problems with the proposed plant project:(1) how destructive the plant can be in case of any leakage, (2) they do not know what will happen to the waste generated from here, (3) they don’t want to lose their land, which is their only source of livelihood.

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