Gorakhpur nuclear power plant makes headway

Thursday 20 September 2012

Protesters melt away after Haryana announces hefty compensation

The government seems to be succeeding in pushing through the proposal to build a nuclear power plant in Fatehabad district of Haryana. Much of the opposition seems to have melted away after the farmers affected by the project received compensation at the rate of Rs 46 lakh per acre (0.4 hectare) from the Haryana government. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), the project proponent, has proposed the construction of a 2,800 MW power plant. A total of 608.5 hectares of land is required for the project. Most of the land being acquired is agricultural land in Gorakhpur and adjoining villages of Badopal and Kajalheri.

The first phase of development of the nuclear plant, that involves the topographic survey followed by geotechnical investigation of the project area, commenced on September 6. 

Affected farmers had been opposing the project since 2009. In the public hearing on July 17, this year, hundreds of villagers along with local activists turned up to protest against the nuclear power plant. Their primary concerns were land acquisition, water and health hazards from possible radiation.

But the tide seems to have now turned in NPCIL's favour after the announcement of the compensation package. The compensation so far totals Rs 419.82 crore, which, according to the government, takes care of almost all the farmers of Gorakhpur, Baropal and Kajalheri villages, whose lands are being acquired for the project.

After farming families started received compensation, many farmers disassociated themselves from the protesting farmer’s alliance, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti. Some fragmented protests are still on.

“The focus of the protest has now shifted from anti-land acquisition to the risks associated with nuclear power plant,” says Kumar Sundaram, an antinuclear activist who has been working closely with the protesters. Some villagers are still protesting against the land acquisition and are holding sit-in protest in front of the Fatehabhad collector's office, but they are mostly share-croppers who did not receive any compensation and face a very uncertain future,” informs local activist Rajendra Sharma.

 According to T R Arora, chief project manager with NPCIL, it will take about two more years for the plant construction to begin as there is a need to improve infrastructure of and access to the area first.


Move from news to views and get in-depth reports on issues that matter to you, every fortnight.
Subscribe now »

We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Kudankulam meltdown

Kudankulam meltdown

The spectre of Fukushima continues to haunt the world, forcing governments in most parts of the globe to rethink their plans to tap this controversial source of energy. But it is in India that the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl has had its most serious fallout, with public protests forcing the authorities to delay the commissioning of the ambitious Kudankulam project by almost a year. Fukushima, however, is just the latest spur for the campaign against the Kudankulam reactors which started in 1987, discovers Latha Jishnu as she travels across the villages of Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu and meets the people who have been saying no to nuclear energy for 25 years. Arnab Pratim Dutta and Ankur Paliwal study implications of Fukushima and the increasing cost of nuclear energy across the world, and the rise of shale gas as an alternative

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.

Scroll To Top