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Farmers decide to involve townspeople of Bhavnagar to oppose N-power plant, tell them: You too will suffer

Panic near Mithi Virdi because of the proposed N-power plant
Counterview Desk
In a move to launch a fresh campaign against the proposed nuclear power plant by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in the very midst of the lush green area of Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district, the anti-nuclear plant organization, Bhavnagar Gram Bachao Samiti, has how worked out a fresh strategy – to involve citizens of Bhavnagar city. In a statement issued in Mithi Vidri, the Samiti – in association with a dozen other voluntary organizations – has said, “If the rural areas of Bhavnagar district will suffer, the townspeople will not be far behind.”
It added, “Currently, Bhavnagar receives most of the vegetables from the rural areas surrounding Mithi Virdi. However, with the Government of India decision, backed by the Gujarat government, to have a nuclear plant in the region, and the decision to kick-start land acquisition process, the townspeople will soon be deprived of the fresh vegetables they receive from the region. This is happening at a time when the country is increasingly getting concerned about the food security issues.”
In an effort to involve the townspeople, the statement stressed, the Samiti has decided to take out a rally against the proposed nuclear plant starting at Mithi Virdi and ending at Bhavnagar city, which is the second biggest town of Saurashtra.
“In our estimate, as many as 152 villages will be affected because of the proposed project. These villages belong to Bhavnagar district’s four different talukas – Talaja, Ghogha, Bhavnagar and Shihor. Already, a study has been presented before the Union environment ministry on how these areas will be adversely affected and why the NPCIL’s claims that the nuclear project would have no impact on the farmers of the region are totally wrong”, the statement, addressed to townspeople, said.
It added, “We strongly believe that the total cost of the nuclear project is Rs 50,000 crore, which is very high. Cost is a major reason why the United States decided against having a nuclear power project in Florida State. Why is the project being promoted in Gujarat is difficult to understand. People will ultimately suffer because of the high cost of the project, leading to high cost of power imposed upon them. The project is being implemented without even looking at the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority’s examination of its repercussions on the environment of the region.”
“In order to oppose the proposed project, the Samiti has decided to launch a farmers’ tractor protest rally against the government on September 23. The rally will start at Mithi Virdi, will move to Koliyak, Pipalya Pul and Budhel. It will reach Bhavnagar and there will be a rally at AV School compound. Thereafter, the farmers of Jaspara, Mithi Virdi, Mandva and Khadarpar – in all 280 of them – will sign affidavits opposing the nuclear power plant. The affidavits will be sent to the Union environment ministry in Delhi as a mark of protest”, the statement said.
Those who signed the statement included several NGOs and individuals. They were Samiti chief Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjanbhai Dabhi, Anu Urja Abhyas Juth Bhavnagar’s Damuben Modi and Bharatbhai Jambucha, Gujarat Unu Urja Mukti Andolan’s Chunibhai Vaidya and Sagar Rabari, and Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti’s Krishnakant, Rohit Prajapati and Swati Desai.

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