The 9900-Mega Watt Nuclear Power Project of Jaitapur, a small port situated in Maharashtra Ratnagiri district received green nod by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
"It was not an easy task... It is a balancing act. I do not expect all environmentalists to be happy with this decision. I am prepared for quite a few brickbats. We have laid down 35 conditions, 23 of which are specific to Jaitapur," said Ramesh while announcing the decision in the presence of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar here on Sunday.
He further said that it is essential to drive the nuclear programme.
"We have to take urgent steps to push our nuclear power programme. Today, 38 percent of our carbon-di-oxide immersions are coming from the electricity sector alone. The single largest contributor to the green house gasses, the world wide and in India, 38 percent and therefore we need to change our fuel wastes," said Ramesh.
He further said he considered various issues like economic growth, diversification of fuel mix for power generation and environment protection before giving his nod to the proposed project on the Konkan coast.
He also pointed out that his ministry has no jurisdiction over radiology emission - a major concern among locals and environmentalists.
"I am aware that the Jaitapur power project is coming up in an eco-sensitive area. There are other power projects coming up on a thin strip of coast of Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg with power generation adding up to 33,000 MW. It is absolutely essential to get an assurance from the Maharashtra government to study the cumulative carrying capacity of the region and prepare a report," he added.
The 9900-Mega Watt Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project would be built in collaboration with French firm Areva. (ANI)