Anti-Jaitapur activists reject higher compensation

A day after the state government announced a higher compensation for the affected, anti-Jaitapur nuclear power plant activists reiterated the demand for scrapping the project.

They said the latest government move was to please visiting French President Francois Hollande and that they never demanded better compensation.

"Against the backdrop of the visit of the French President, it is a vulgar trap by the Maharashtra government to lure farmers by offering enhanced price. The struggle of local villagers, however, is not for better or higher compensation, but for scrapping the project," said Satyajit Chavan of Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti at a press conference in Mumbai Thursday.

Representatives of Madban Janhit Seva Samiti and Madban Mithgavane Sangharsh Samiti were also present.

The state has approved a compensation of Rs 22 lakh per hectare for land acquired for Jaitapur nuclear power project. The new package is 80 times bigger than the original cost of Rs 25,000 a hectare.

Vaishali Patil of Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti said the farmers had refused the higher amount. "They are not moved by this higher compensation, which shows the degree of resistance to the project," she said.

The government has acquired 938.026 hectares in Jaitapur (692.311 hectares for plant site and 245.715 hectares for a residential complex). The land was handed over to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited in January 2010 and the title transferred in March 2010. Residents of Madban, Niveli, Mithgavhane, Karel and Ansure villages have been protesting against the plant.

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