82% of landowners accept compensation for Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant

Around 82.5% of the landowners at the site of the upcoming Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Maharashtra have agreed to receive compensation under the project, the ministry of atomic energy said today.

Out of 2,236 people whose land needs to be acquired for the mega project, 1,844 have accepted the compensation and 1,820 have received the ex-gratia payments.

The ex-gratia payment is calculated at the rate of Rs 22.5 lakh per hectare or Rs 9.11 lakh per acre.

The government also clarified that it has signed a related agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron when he visited India at the beginning of this month.

The Industrial Way Forward Agreement (IWFA) was signed between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Electricite de France.

India’s original agreement with the French energy company Areva, signed in 2008. However, in 2016, Electricite de France took over Areva.

The latest agreement with EDF “prescribes a way forward” for the implementation of the Jaitapur nuclear power project, the ministry said.

Jaitapur Nuclear Power project will be one of the largest in the world.

Compared to 200 MW per reactor in many of India’s currently operational nuclear power plants, the Jaitapur project will have six reactors of 1,650 MW each.

At 9,900 MW, the single plant at Jaitapur would produce more power than all the nuclear power plants in operation in India at present (about 7,000 MW).

The project has invited heavy criticism from environmentalists for the risk posed by it to people in southern, coastal Maharashtra.

Nuclear power plants are increasingly going out of fashion in the developed world after the Fukishima disaster of 2011 as countries look toward renewable sources like wind, geothermal and solar.

However, the ministry continues to maintain that the project is safe.

“Several studies by expert agencies have concluded that the project will not adversely affect the agriculture, horticulture, fishing and other traditional means of livelihood pursued by the local people,” it said.