Skip to main content

Govt of India withdraws Mithi Virdi N-power project in Gujarat, blames delay in land acquisition, villagers rejoice

People walk out of environmental hearing for N-project in 2013
By Our Representative
It is official, finally. The Minisry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that that the 6000 MW nuclear project at Mithivirdi, District Bhavnagar, Gujarat, has been abandoned, and has been “shifted” to Kovadda, Andhra Pradesh on account of "delay" in land acquisition at the village Chhaya-Mithivirdi site.
Counterview had reported exactly a year ago (June 2, 2016) that a decision was taken by Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric, which was to build the nuclear plant in South Saurashtra coast of Gujarat not to go ahead with the project in view of local opposition. Westinghouse's decision came a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to visit the US.
The withdrawal of the nuclear plant has created a wave of happiness among the villagers around Mithi Virdi. They have decided to together on June 2 in village Jaspara to celebrate and congratulate each other for it. 
Protest against Mithi Virdi N-project
The villagers had gone to the NGT on March 3,  2015 challenging the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance given to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), the Government of India undertaking, for the project. 
An communique issued by top Gujarat environmentalist Rohit Prajapati following the development quotes AR Anilkumar, executive director, NPCIL as sayingthat the proposal for “Environment Clearance (EC) before MoEFCC has been "delisted.” MOEFCC director Arvind Kumar Nautiyal has given a similar opinion, it adds.
The villagers’ victory comes four years after nearly 7,000 of them en masse walk-out of the Environmental Public Hearing (EPH) for the project, which took place on March 5, 2013, alleging that it was being conducted in “blatant contravention of the environmental laws and natural justice.” 
The walkout took place after the district collector, Bhavnagar, who chaired EPH, disallowed the leaders and sarpanches of the affected villages from raising issues of concern. Within no time, people started walking out. The pandal was emptied and only media persons, government and NPCIL staff was left in the huge pandal.
Subsequently, the proposed project was recommended for CRZ clearance by the Gujarat State Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA). The National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA) cleared the CRZ on March 3, 2015, which prompted the villagers to approach NGT.
Those who went to the NGT included Shaktisinh H Gohil, Jagrutiben B. Gohil of Jaspara village, Hajabhai G Dihora of MithVirdi, and environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara.
On March 27, 2017, through a letter from the MoEFCC, the Government of India intimated the NGT that the proposed Westinghouse Nuclear Power Plant of 6000 MW was being “shifted” from Mithi Virdi due to “delay in land acquisition.”
In its order dated May 18, the NGT bench, consisting of judicial member (Justice UD Salvi) and expert member (Ranjan Chatterjee), noted that Nautiyal, director of MoEFCC, had submitted that the project at Mithi Virdhi, in whose favour CRZ clearance was granted, “is to be shifted to Kavvada, Andhra Pradesh on account of delay in land acquisition at village Chhaya- Mithivirdhi site”, hence the project does not survive and the matter is disposed of.
Taking credit for the development PSS’ Krishnakant has said, “We pushed out Westinghouse Nuclear Plant from Mithi Virdi area”, adding, “One struggle is over but anther struggle is on and people of the Mithi Virdi area have decided to extent all support and they will be part of the struggle with the people of Kovadda.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".