Karwar: Locals, who are against the expansion of the Kaiga nuclear power plant here, have decided to meet PM Modi with the senior pontiffs of the Pejawar and Swarnavalli Mutts and appeal to him to put a stop to the project.
Despite opposition from the local people and environmentalists, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had approved the plan to expand the Kaiga plant by the addition of units 5 and 6, producing 700 MWe each, in September this year. The angry activists have since stepped up their protest and besides holding rallies and taking steps to fight the expansion legally, are hoping to put pressure on the Union government to give up the project.
“We have decided to request Sri Gangadharendra Saraswati Swamiji of Swarnavalli Mutt to lead us to meet the Prime Minister. Yesterday, during the protest rally, Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt too offered to help us,” said Zilla Panchayat member, Shanta Bandekar, who is president of the committee opposing the Kaiga expansion. He added that a case had been filed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to put a stop to the expansion of the plant.
“The government says that Kaiga is for power production. But the irony is that people of villages like Bare, Balemane, Haruru near the plant are still living in the dark! They neither get power from the Kaiga atomic station nor from the hydro -electric station from the dam nearby,” he deplored, claiming that on the other hand, their health seemed to be affected. “The employees of the Kaiga plant are from North Indian states. So it gives us neither power nor employment. Let the government set up new units in Bihar or Chhattisgarh,” he said.