Mumbai: Coinciding with the visit of French
President Nicolas Sarkozy to India, hundreds of people on Saturday staged a protest near Jaitapur, the site of the proposed
nuclear power project to be built in collaboration with the
France-based company Areva.
The protesters included environmentalists, villagers and
farmers, who do not want to give away their land for the mega
project in the coastal Ratnagiri district. The multi-billion
project was cleared by the Union Ministry of Environment and
Forests late last month with some conditions.
Scores of protesters, including leaders like Arun
Velaskar, were arrested at Madban, around 12 km from Jaitapur,
and taken away in vans, police said.
Those arrested included leaders of voluntary groups
Konkan Bachao Andolan and Janahit Seva Samiti, which are
spearheading the stir, the activists said, adding, the local
fishing community also took part in the demonstration.
In Mumbai, a coalition of several trade unions and NGOs
has also planned protest against the environment clearance for
the 9,900 MW venture.
According to the government, the final contracts are
expected to be signed in the first half of 2011. There will be
six reactors with a capacity of 1,650 MW each. The first unit
is expected to become operational by 2018.