Kovvada Nuclear Plant Taking Shape Despite Protests
Srikakulam: Amid protests by local populace against setting up of nuclear power plant at Kovvada, the Andhra Pradesh Government on Wednesday handed over 473 acres of land to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
Revenue Divisional Officer B Dayanidhi handed over the relevant land documents to NPCIL Project Director GV Ramesh at a programme held at the Tahsildaar’s office in Ranasthalam, paving the way for construction of the nuclear power plant at Kovvada. Scientists of NPCIL, along with revenue officials, performed a puja to mark the occasion. The remaining part of the land will be handed over to NPCIL in three months, according to revenue officials.
NPCIL is expected to start construction of the 6,600 MW nuclear power project at Kovvada next year and commence nuclear power production by 2024.
Several activists under the aegis of Kovvada Anuvidhyuttu Vyatireka Porata Samithi went in a procession from the CITU office to the Tahsildaar Office, shouting slogans and protesting against handing over of Kovvada Konda (Kovvada Hill) to NPCIL. Police arrested 20 activists, but they were later released on personal bail.
Speaking at a rally later, Samithi leader Bhaviri Krishnamurthi charged that the government has not conducted the mandatory public hearing. He accused revenue officials of clandestinely handing over the land without obtaining approvals from the Land Selection Committee. He pointed out that NPCIL has also not obtained the Site Clearance Certificate from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader D Govinda Rao maintained that nuclear power plants would cause huge devastation in event of accidents caused by either human errors or natural calamities. Any eventuality at the Kovvada nuclear plant would have disastrous consequences for the people and environment along the stretch of land between Odisha and Kakinada.
CPM activist P Tejeswara Rao alleged that people are being forced to vacate their villages even before construction of the Relief and Rehabilitation Colony. However, revenue officials claimed that the land acquired is precisely for facilitating construction of a housing colony for the displaced.