GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority has quietly given the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to the controversial proposal for a nuclear power plant at Mithivirdi village in Bhavnagar district. The plant is to be built by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
Sources in the state’s forest and environment department said that the NPCIL had sent the proposal for CRZ clearance in January this year. After scrutiny, the state government gave clearance for the 6,000 MW nuclear power plant and also recommended the project to the Union ministry of forests and environment for final CRZ clearance.
A representative of the NPCIL made a presentation before the technical committee on March 25, 2013, on the activities proposed to be carried out in the CRZ area. “The environment impact assessment report prepared by Engineers India Limited and the CRZ map along with boundaries demarcated by Anna University were approved,” a source said.
Both the BJP government in Gujarat and the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre are pushing hard for the Rs 60,000 crore nuclear power plant.
Earlier, in March this year, a crucial public hearing on the proposed project was organized. Several farmers groups, NGOs, and anti-nuclear power plant activists opposed to the project attended the hearing.
Former BJP MLA and leading farmers leader Dr Kanu Kalsaria said, “The project will not only damage the environment but snatch away the livelihood of farmers. It will also be a permanent threat to the people.”
A total of 777 hectares are to be acquired for the project out of which 603 hectares is rich agricultural land.