Farmers oppose land acquisition for nuclear power plant

Farmers of Gorakhpur-Kumharia village in Fatehabad district of Haryana, where the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NIPCL) plans to set up a power plant, are up in arms against the government's move to acquire their land. On August 17, hundreds of farmers submitted a memorandum to the District Revenue Officer asking the authorities to acquire alternative land for the plant.

Farmers of Gorakhpur-Kumharia village in Fatehabad district of Haryana, where the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NIPCL) plans to set up a power plant, are up in arms against the government's move to acquire their land. On August 17, hundreds of farmers submitted a memorandum to the District Revenue Officer asking the authorities to acquire alternative land for the plant.

The state government has issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act-1894, for acquisition of nearly 1,400 acres of village land for the plant. The villagers, whose land has come under this notification, have also started filing individual objections with the authorities. According to the MEL correspondent, at a meeting held in the village chaupal on August 16, the farmers have unitedly decided to oppose the government move. On August 23, the agitated farmers held a dharna outside the mini secretariat at Fatehabad town, in support of their demands.

The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti which is spearheading the farmers' agitation, has issued an appeal opposing the land acquisition by the government for the nuclear power plant, citing amongst other things that

  • Radiation from the nuclear power plant will be a source of grave health hazards for the residents of the area as well as for the plant and animal life and the environment
  • According to the Nuclear Council of India, no human habitation should be located within 100 km of a nuclear power plant. However, the region where the land is proposed to be acquired is inhabited with a population density of nearly 1000 people per square km. The power plant would result in large scale displacement of people and consequent devastation of their lives and livelihood. The government has, so far, not presented any concrete plan for the rehabilitation of the villagers who would be displaced as a result of the plant.
  • The land proposed to be acquired for the nuclear plant is fertile agricultural land, where agriculture using modern techniques is practised, yielding 3 crops per year.

As we go to press, the farmers’ agitation against the acquisition of their agricultural land for the proposed nuclear power plant at Gorakhpur has picked up momentum, with villagers from 14 neighbouring villages coming out in their support. Over 500 farmers attended a meeting addressed by the Secretary of the Lok Raj Sangathan, Haryana, on September 10, 2010.
 

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