CPI-M and more to battle Jaitapur nuclear project



New Delhi: A 15-member "National Committee" has been formed to demand a halt to the construction of the nuclear project in Jaitapur in Maharashtra, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said on Sunday.

The CPI-M said the team has been set up "to extend support to the people's struggle in Jaitapur and to mobilise support all over the country to demand a halt to the project".

It said the team will be made up of political leaders, MPs, scientists and activists.

Among the key members are CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI chief AB Bardhan, Telugu Desam Party's N Nageswara Rao, Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan and leaders of the Janata Dal-Secular and the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP).

A Gopalkrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, former union finance secretary SP Shukla and Konkan Bachao Samiti leader Sulabha Brahme are also part of the team.

The CPI-M said the people of Jaitapur and surrounding areas in Ratnagiri had been struggling against the nuclear project that will have six nuclear reactors bought from the French Areva company.

"This project has displaced farmers and mango orchards... The livelihood of thousands of fishermen are threatened. There is a serious threat to ecology and environment of the region.

"The Areva EPR reactors have not been commissioned anywhere in the world, not even in France. They are prohibitively expensive and the technology is untried and untested.

"After the Fukushima disaster in Japan, there are serious concerns about the safety and the health of the people in the region."

The statement said protests in Ratnagiri had been met with "severe police repression and permanent restrictions on holding of protests. False cases have been instituted on many activists".

IANS