Jaitapur nuke plant will be a social disaster: TISS report

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_jaitapur-nuke-plant-will-be-a-social-disaster-tiss-report_1486600

A social impact assessment review conducted by Jamshetji Tata centre for disaster management of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has torn into the nuclear power plant being proposed at Jaitapur in the Konkan region.

The report has indicated that the project — which requires about 968 hectares of land panning five villages — will have a huge negative impact on the social as well as environmental development of not just these villages and the surrounding areas, but also on the Konkan region in general.

The detailed report was prepared by researchers in April. Some of the findings suggest that a large part of land to be acquired for the project is being used for agriculture, horticulture and grazing purposes, and that the government has subverted facts by labelling it barren land.

“Farmers and horticulturists have spent lakhs of rupees to make the land cultivable over years and even the government has supported them. This includes Alfonso mangoes and cashews. Now, when the time has come for them to reap their investments, they are afraid of losing their land as the government now claims it is barren land,” says the report. It adds that even the fisherfolk of the region are against the project.

“Their fear that the fishes will migrate to deeper waters due to release of hot water from the reactors is not unjustified. Apart from fishing, other allied activities will also be adversely affected,” says the report, which was prepared after interviewing villagers.

One of the major concerns expressed in the report is the lack of transparency in dissemination of information about the project on the part of the government and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). “It is necessary that the government ensures full transparency in implementation. But the information can be accessed only through RTI, and people seem to be losing faith in the government,” the report states.

The report states there is a lack of clarity on the exact amount of land that has been earmarked for acquisition. “Even the amount of compensation and the kind of rehabilitation that the project affected will get is not clear. Moreover, there is a lot of manipulation of information, which is disturbing people.

Notification of area from high severity earthquake zone to moderate seismic severity zone seems to be one of them. The government is not only hiding facts, but also manipulating them,” alleges the report.

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