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The CPI (M) on Sunday asked the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to obtain site approval from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) before proceeding for land acquisition for the proposed 10,000 MW atomic power plant in Kovvada of Ranasthalam in Srikakulam district. The party said that officials of the NPCIL had no right to go for land acquisition till the site was approved by the AERB.
Party State Secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao and CITU leaders — D. Govinda Rao, Ch. Ammannaidu, and P. Tejeswara Rao interacted with the villagers in Kosta, which is close to Kovvada.
They vowed to oppose the proposed gram sabha on May 17 in Kovvada alleging that the NPCIL and the State government were violating the procedures for establishing the project.
Addressing the media after interacting with the locals, Mr. Narasinga Rao said that the Site Selection Committee of the AERB should approve Kovvada for establishing the project.
“Srikakulam is known for earthquakes and tremors are experienced frequently. So, Kovvada is not the right place for establishing the atomic power plant. Moreover, the NPCIL has not received any permission from the AERB, which is the highest authority to clear the site for the sensitive project. The AERB, in response to the petitions filed under the RTI Act, said that no one approached it for site approval,” he said.
“The NPCIL is supposed to conduct public hearing to get the consent of people. Only after taking approval from the locals through public hearing, it can take up land acquisition. That is why, we have decided to oppose the gram sabha,” Mr. Narasinga Rao added.
Mr. Govinda Rao alleged that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu opposed the project when he was in the Opposition, but extended full support for establishing the atomic power plant after the TDP was voted to power.
“Mr. Chandrababu Naidu organised several meetings in Ranasthalam mandal in 2010 to oppose the atomic and thermal projects. But he is now keen on establishing the atomic plant. That is why the Srikakulam district administration is making all arrangements for the gram sabha in the mandal,” he added.
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