New Delhi: Noting that the project has "serious and insurmountable" problems, a network of organisations advocating nuclear disarmament on Monday said that they are opposed to the "unsafe and eco-destructive" Jaitapur nuclear project and farmers and fishermen of the area will protest against it from Tuesday.
Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) said that even while French President Francois Hollande will be the chief guest at this Republic Day parade, farmers and fisherfolk in Jaitapur will be protesting the entire week against his visit as the nuclear reactors being imported from France for proposed installation in Jaitapur, Maharashtra, "threaten" their lives.
The statement comes on a day when India and France encouraged their industrial companies to conclude techno-commercial negotiations by the end of the year for the construction of six, instead of two, nuclear power reactor units at Jaitapur.
During the talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Hollande reassured reliable, uninterrupted and continued access to nuclear fuel supply throughout the entire lifetime of the plants.
"The French President will be the chief guest at this Republic Day parade, but 1800 kms from New Delhi, farmers and fisherfolk in Jaitapur will be protesting this week against Hollande's visit as the nuclear reactors that India is importing from France threaten their lives, livelihoods and the local ecology," the coalition said.
Social activist Aruna Roy, Priya Pillai of Greenpeace India and Kumar Sundaram of Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) said this while addressing reporters here.
"The Jaitapur project has serious and insurmountable problems - large-scale devastation of pristine and fragile ecosystem of Konkan, destruction of livelihoods for thousands of local farmers, fisherfolk, alfonso cultivators and traders engaged in agro-business," they said.
Underlining some "crucial risks, they said that there are active seismic faultlines beneath the proposed site and vulnerabilities of Areva's reactor design was exposed by the French nuclear regulator itself. "In the interest of common people of India, we oppose this unsafe, expensive, eco-destructive and anti-people project. The government must initiate a democratic dialogue for a sustainable future for India."