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Haryana

Posted at: Jan 12, 2015, 12:44 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2015, 11:06 PM (IST)

Year on, construction yet to begin on Gorakhpur N-plant

Controversy on

  • Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has landed itself in legal wrangles due to opposition from animal right activists and farmers
  • Officials face trial for death of blackbucks in Environment Court at Kurukshetra
  • The Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, has asked NPCIL to vacate land acquired by it for its residential colony
Year on, construction yet to begin on Gorakhpur N-plant

Pre-project activities being carried out by the NPCIL at its proposed nuclear power project site at Gorakhpur in Fatehabad. A Tribune photograph

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Fatehabad, January 11

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is yet to begin construction activity on Haryana’s first nuclear power project, the foundation stone for which was laid by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.

As of now, NPCIL has been carrying out certain pre-project activities on the land but not even a brick has been laid so far for the plant. Even the official website of NPCIL does not show the project among its under-construction projects.

In fact, NPCIL, which was yet to get clearances for the project at the time of laying of the foundation stone, has landed itself in legal wrangles due to opposition from animal right activists and farmers.

Its officials are facing trial for death of blackbucks in the Environment Court at Kurukshetra and another case in the National Green Tribunal. NPCIL has not been able to take possession over 28 acres out of the 1313-odd acres acquired for the project as owners of the land have refused to accept compensation and are not ready to vacate the land.

Then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone of the Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyajna (GHAVP) on January 13 last year at Gorakhpur village.

When the foundation stone was laid, NPCIL was yet to get approval from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and even the environmental clearance was subject to several conditions.

In fact, its clearance was pending for long before the ministry for want of conservation plan for blackbucks and other wildlife living on the project land and several other conditions before Environment Minister Jayanti Natrajan was suddenly replaced with Veerappa Moily on December 24, 2013, and the project received conditional approval within four days of the new minister assuming office. The clearance granted to the project said, “Environmental clearance is subject to clearance from the wildlife angle due to location of Schedule-I species of the animals in the close vicinity.”

In reply to an RTI application of animal rights activist Vinod Karwasara on December 18, 2014, NPCIL admitted that it was still to get permission from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, which was entrusted the task of preparing conservation plan for blackbucks, told NPCIL to vacate land acquired by it for its residential colony. NPCIL, however, is still to take a decision on it.

In a meeting between the NPCIL, the WII, Dehradun and Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited (HPGCL), the Principal Secretary (Power) said the government was suffering a financial loss of Rs 7 to 8 crore per day for the delay of the project.

A copy of the minutes of the meeting obtained under the RTI is with The Tribune. The first phase of the GHAVP with two reactors of 700 MW each is to be constructed at a cost of Rs 21,000.

However, Hoshiar Singh, public relation officer of NPCIL, but was not available for comments after repeated attempts.

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