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Hyderabad: Paving the way for land acquisition to set up the first-ever nuclear power project in Andhra Pradesh, the state government on Thursday declared the land identified in five villages in north coastal district of Srikakulam as project-affected zone.
It may be recalled that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) had proposed to set up a 6,000 Mw power plant of light water reactors at Kovvada five years ago. The latest move will facilitate the government's land acquisition unit to acquire 2,436 acre identified for the project in the above location. The land will be used for the project and a township for the staff besides providing house sites for the displaced families.
Political protests as well as the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan had forced both the state government and the NCPIL to go slow on the project leading to delay in land acquisition. Uncertainly over the fate of the project continued as some of the ruling Congress leaders from the region openly voiced their opposition about setting up a nuclear power plant in this district.
However, during his visit to Hyderabad in March this year, NPCIL chairman and managing director SK Jain, who later retired, said they were going ahead with the project as the concerns about the safety aspects of nuclear power plants being raised in the light of Fukushima accident had been fully addressed.
The government in its orders said the land acquisition would be initiated per the provisions of the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy of 2007 by rehabilitating about 7,960 people (1,983 households), who are expected to be affected due to the project. Most of them are fishermen and agriculture labourers, it said.