Gujarat farmers protest proposed nuclear park

News this week - Gujarat farmers oppose nuclear plant, drought hits Bihar and an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi in Surat.
Nuclear power or people's power Source: Wikipedia Nuclear power or people's power Source: Wikipedia

Gujarat farmers oppose Mithivirdi nuclear plant

Farmers of Bhavnagar district, where the Mithivrdi nuclear park is supposed to come up, refuse to part with their agricultural land. 877 hectares of land needs to be acquired for the 6,000 mega watt project that will have six nuclear power plants. The project will be set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) while the reactors will be supplied by Westinghouse, an American atomic power major. Farmers say they will not give away their highly fertile land for a hazardous venture.

Drought in Bihar

Even as 200 people died and seven million were displaced by floods in the state this year, 33 out of 38 districts in Bihar have now been declared drought-hit. The state had a 25% rainfall deficit this year. Land rent and cess, irrigation charge and electricity bills from farmers in drought-hit districts will be deferred for 2013-14. Measures to create rural livelihood and grow alternate crops will also be taken.

Kalpakkam nuclear plant operating without environment clearance

A public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Madras High Court says that the Kalpakkam atomic power station has been running its two units without environment clearance for about three decades. The court has issued notice to the central government and the Tamil Nadu state Pollution Control Board. Information recieved under a Right to Information (RTI) application show that the plant has not followed recommendations of the NPCIL issued after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The plant has also not taken any clearance for the storage of fuel spent by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India.

Tsunami wall threatens mangroves in Mumbai

Boulders dumped on a beach in Mumbai to prevent sea erosion and lessen the impact of disasters like tsunami threatens the mangrove species there. The Maharashtra Maritime Board is buidling a wall in Bandra from Joggers' Park to Chimbai beach. According to a local counsellor and fishermen opposing the wall, construction within 100 metres of the mangrove line requires forest clearance which the Board has not obtained.

A clean Ganesh Visarjan in Surat

Surat residents refrained from immersing Ganesh idols made with plaster of Paris in the Tapi river this year, resulting in a much cleaner river bed. As per the advice of the city municipal authorities, people either used idols made of clay or went up to the sea shore to immerse them. Nearly 34,000 idols were immersed in the sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from September 16-22. Also read last week's policy matters updates.

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