The ‘betrayal’ of few leaders from the anti-Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant movement will not weaken the protests, said villagers and activists on Monday.
“Those who accepted the project and declared their support to this plant have betrayed us. Their association with the movement from past eight years was only to seek more compensation. But we are against the project and will continue opposing it on scientific and environmental grounds,” said Prakash Waghdhare, president of a representative body of villagers from project affected villages, at the press conference held in Mumbai.
Certain leaders from the movement, which was started eight years back against the proposed 9900 MW nuclear plant, had met State industries minister Narayan Rane in Ratnagiri last week and accepted the compensation given by the State Government. They later announced that no more protests against the project will be held.
However, the villagers and other anti-nuclear project activists have made it clear that it was the individual decision taken by those leaders and protests against the power plant will continue.
As per the revised package, the PAP would now get Rs. 22.5 lakh per hectare instead of the earlier compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh per hectare. Pravin Gavankar and Dr Milind Desai, the two former leaders of the movement who switched their sides last week, hold up to 55 to 60 hectares of land respectively.
The villagers alleged that none of the project affected persons were taken in to confidence before meeting the state industries minister, Mr. Rane. “We are neither defeated nor surrendered. Movement was not dependent on certain individuals. People will take it further,” said Shamsunder Narvekar, Secretary, Janhit Seva Samiti. Samiti has been campaigning against the project among villagers from last five years.
“The new phase of protests will start from October 13. There is no question of turning back. If people don’t want the plant, we will fight till end against it,” said Rajan Salvi, local MLA from Shiv Sena.