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Kovvada nuclear power plant will displace about 8,000 people

7 Comments
Author(s): M Suchitra
Date:Nov 2, 2012

Andhra government declares five villages in Srikakulam district as project affected

Proposed nuclear power plant site

The Andhra Pradesh government has issued an order, notifying villages that are likely to be affected fully or partially by the proposed nuclear power plant at Kovvada in Ranasthalam block of the coastal district of Srikakulam. The order issued on November 1 by Mrutunjay Sahoo, principal secretary, states that 1,916.27 acres (1 acre equals 0.4 hectare) of land, including 604.12 acres of private land, will have to be acquired for the 6,000 MW project. As per the government’s estimation, 1,983 families (7,960 persons) in five villages will be displaced by the nuclear plant. 

The government issued the notification as per the state’s policy—Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) for Project Affected Families, 2005. Villages which figure in the notification of “Project Affected Zone” are Ramachandrapuram, Gudem, Kotapalem, Tekkali and Jeeru Kovvada. The main source of income of people who would be displaced are agriculture, fishing and wage labour, notes the order.

The Department of Atomic Energy of the Central government had given in-principle approval for the 6X 1,000 MW nuclear power plant comprising light water reactors in 2009. The ambitious Rs 60,000 crore plant is being set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). 

The government order says the district collector of Srikakulam, in a letter dated June 20, 2012, has stated that the chief engineer of the NPCIL has submitted a proposal for acquiring 2,436.77 acres of land in these villages for installing the reactors, establishing a township and rehabilitating the displaced families. The state government had sanctioned a Land Acquisition Unit in last December for starting the land acquisition process by identifying the land. The acquisition of land and houses will be under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, says the order.  

Land to be acquired (in acres)
Poramboke (government) land 763.51
Village sites 52.89
Assigned land (government land
distributed to the landless):
495.76
Private land 604.12
Total 1,916.27

 

 

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I am worried that if this is going to be Kudankulam, part-2, where the government is trying to oust unwilling people by using force. This is very uncalled for situation in a so called democratic country like India.

4 November 2012
Posted by
Sourav Laskar

How come there isn't as much noise from the people or NGOs as in the case of Kudankulam.

8 November 2012
Posted by
priya

When Kudankulam folks are fighting for their livelihood and future generations, here is one person sarcastically termed that as mere noise. Gandhiji correctly identified these educated parasites as people with iron-like hearts. Priya, will you be satisfied if dozens of people are killed in Kovvada like in Sompeta or Kalinganagar or Nandigram?

2 December 2012
Posted by
Sankara Narayanan

Dear Priya,

There is noise - as in we have - NAPM (National Alliance of People's Movements(i personally have) been to these villages many times in the past 2 and half years and we conducted many awareness campaigns including a cycle rally last year - in august 2011 that covered the surrounding 60 villages - under the aegis of Dr. Surendra Gadekar, gandhian, and anti nuclear scientist. As people from outside we formed a support group including many intellectuals. There is a great opposition from the local people here. However, due to the local politics and caste dynamics, the fisherfolk especially are vulnerable to take a strong stand.

The local MP - Botsa Jhansi is the wife of Botsa Satyanarayana - Congress Party Chief and State Minister. This gentleman promised the people that if his wife is elected from that constituency (in 2009) he will ensure that the project is cancelled. It was on this note that the people elected this lady. Post elections, Mr. Sattibabu as he is locally known now says, "its a central project, i can't do anything, i will ensure that you will get good Rehab package".

The NPCIL has already bribed a few local leaders like the Panchayat sarpanch who until recently was very strongly favouring the project. Thus Kovvada village was divided into two groups those who were under the influence of the sarpanch and agreed for the project and those who opposed the project. This sarpanch and his men tried to rough us up too sometimes.

Then there are MPTCs and MPPs who are people from a dominant BC community and who still are big landlords (some owning lands close to 4000 acres), and against whom the fisherfolk feel intimidated. However, now some of these leaders have jumped from Congress Party to the YSR CP, and are showing "interest" to oppose the project. The CPM ofcourse will be silent as their stand is to support Nuclear.

However, we have been trying to bring the people together to stand up for their rights. Only time will tell if we will be successful or not.

Regards
Saraswati Kavula
NAPM (AP Chapter)

3 December 2012
Posted by
saraswati

Also, please understand that the Kudankulam struggle was going on for 20 years, however, the government agencies have used "similar divide and rule" tactics and diluted the movement. It picked up once again very strongly in the past couple of years due to the good leadership of Dr. Uday Kuamar who has given up everything for the sake of this movement and especially so after the Fukushima accident.

3 December 2012
Posted by
saraswati

Ok satisfaction

21 December 2012
Posted by
chitibariki.govinda

It is high time that the Govt realised the following facts while execution of this project :

a) The compensation package for the land owners shall be liberal. Even if we pay Rs.20 lakhs per acre, for the 600 acres to be acquired, it works out to Rs.120 crores only.

Also they shall be given preference for employment.

b) All the landless people who will be displaced shall be given immediate employment and housing.

Apart from the sentimental attachments naturally every one will have to the place where they are born and brought up, the uncertainty of their future, adds fuel to the fire.

The NGOs 1) Who have enjoyed their life and want to preach others about simple way of living in their retirement, 2) Who do not want to admit the fact that we are no more relying on Gandhi's Chakra for our clothing needs 3) Who do not know that our energy consumption is one of the lowest in the world and we need to triple our energy consumption if we have to catch up with the rest of the world 4) We do not have any other credible resource we can rely on for our long term energy source,

are using the genuine grievances of the project affected people to further their misguided agenda.

We also have international NGOs to support these causes due to the same reasons explained above.

In the interest of our teaming millions of young people, please do not obstruct such important projects.

21 September 2013
Posted by
K.Periasamy

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