Taking inspiration from anti-nuclear power activists at Kudankulam, villagers opposing the 10,000-MW Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra have decided to launch a similar agitation from April 10.

The mega project, being executed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), is coming up at Madban village in Ratnagiri district. The project is expected to cost over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Madban resident Praveen Gavankar, who has been spearheading the agitation for the last six years under the aegis of the Janhit Seva Samiti, told Business Linethat the villagers would lay siege to the project, albeit peacefully.

“Our people would be sitting about 100 metres away from the compound wall and will not move from the area until the project is closed down. As the agitation progresses, some persons are also likely to go on a hunger strike,” he said. Gavankar added that emissions from the power plant are set to destroy the neighbouring mango and cashew orchards. The hot water effluents would also, he claimed, destroy the local fisheries sector .

“Despite all the safety measures, the Fukushima incident did happen. Tomorrow, if a similar event takes place at Jaitapur, will NPCIL take responsibility? Will they (NPCIL) insure us from such an event,” Gavankar asked. Despite repeated attempts, NPCIL officials were unavailable for comment.

A local leader from the fishermen community, Amjad Borkar, said that on April 2 a delegation of fishermen from the Nate village, which is very close to the project site, will meet Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi. The delegation will apprise him of the situation and point out the proposed plant’s likely impact on their businesses.