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Gujarat villagers vow to oppose Bhavnagar nuclear plant

Friday May 27, 2011 11:40:51 PM, IANS

Jaspara (Gujarat): Village council members of over 50 coastal villages in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district Friday took a pledge to oppose the proposed 6,000 MW nuclear power project at Mithi Virdi, saying they would not allow the government to acquire their fertile lands.

Cutting across party lines, leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, its breakaway group the Maha Gujarat Janata Party, the Congress and several Gandhian organisations addressed a public meeting and witnessed the villagers take a pledge not to acquiesce to the government's offer to buy their lands, however lucrative the compensation offer may be.

"Mother earth has been sustaining us for generations in the past, present and will continue to do so in future by giving us cereal, vegetables and a variety of fruits like mango, chikoo, coconut, cashewnut and berries. How can we ever think of selling her? Even if we accept a few crore of rupees for the land, we will end up frittering it away," said Kadviben from Mahuva.

The resolve to fight till the last against land acquisition by the government or private companies for industrialization received a boost from anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, who on a recent visit to Gujarat said a nation-wide campaign against land acquisition for industrialisation was the next move he would like to undertake.

Former state finance minister Sanat Mehta challenged the contention of the Nuclear Power Corporation that nuclear power was safest source of energy. "If it is so, why don't they set up the n-plant in Delhi or Gandhinagar?"

Former state home minister and MJP president Gordhan Zadaphia, who has been camping in Mithi Virdi, the site of the proposed plant, for the last four months to mobilise the people, said: "It is a spontaneous people's movement which cannot be crushed by either the central or the state government, come what may."




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