Mumbai: Criticising staunch opposition to the
proposed Jaitapur nuclear power project, Union Minister Sharad
Pawar on Thursday said fear of catastrophe should not hinder
"One has to see how to overcome natural calamities. It is
wrong to stop forces of development. We have not stopped
construction of houses because of earthquakes. Lakhs of homes
were destroyed in Latur earthquake. We rebuilt many more. We
have the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai and
the Tarapore nuclear plant nearby," Pawar told reporters here.
Pawar`s comment came in the backdrop of concern arising
over the project after a devastating earthquake in March
damaged the nuclear facility at Fukushima in Japan following
which the country plunged into a major nuclear crisis.
When asked what would he suggest to ensure the project
implementation is not stopped, the NCP president said Chief
Minister Prithviraj Chavan knows the nitty-gritties of the
Jaitapur nuclear project since the time he was a minister in
the Prime Minister`s office (PMO).
"Maharashtra needs electricity to improve its industrial
growth. Those who criticise load shedding should not oppose
steps taken to improve power generation. We have to construct
power plants whether they are nuclear, gas based, hydro or
coal," the Agricultural minster noted.
Replying to a question on Shiv Sena`s opposition to the
project, Pawar said he had no idea why the saffron party
was against the nuclear plant. "Perhaps, they have a different
ideology," he said.
Without naming Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his son
Uddhav, Pawar said, "I don`t meet my senior friend these days
and I don`t talk to kids on such issues."
Responding to a question on whether he felt that the Sena
leadership`s stand on the project was `childish`, Pawar,
without naming Uddhav Thackeray, said, "How can you call him
childish. Even his son is now in politics," he said.