VIJAYAWADA: Despite opposition from people, the State government on Thursday gave the go ahead for the Kovvada Nuclear power plant in Srikakulam district. It directed the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration and Srikakulam District Collector to hand over advance possession of government land to the extent of 1,473 acres in five villages in the district to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL ) for the construction of the 6 x 1100 MW nuclear power plant.
The land that would be transferred is in the villages of Ramachandrapuram, Tekkali, Gudem, Kotapalem and Jeeru Kovvada of Ranasthalam mandal. Revenue Department issued a GO (no:1179) to this effect on Thursday. Reacting sharply to the GO, CPM State secretary Penumalli Madhu demanded that the “illegal order” be withdrawn immediately.
In a statement, Madhu said that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has not given any approval for setting up the Kovvada power plant. The Social Impact Assessment too has not been done and no formal application filed for enviornmental clearances. “In these circumstances, the government has issued the GO which is in conflict with the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and Section 15 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and therefore, it should be withdrawn,” he said.
Just a couple of days ago, members of the Srikakulam Bar Association had made a representation to the district administration, opposing the nuclear power plant at Kovvada. In a memorandum to the joint collector, they had said the power plant would affect not only the lives of the people in the villages but also pose a threat to marine life.
Ever since the nuclear plant has been conceived at Kovvada, the left parties have been opposing it on the ground that it would not only be a threat to environment, but also deprive the livelihood of fishermen since there would be too many restrictions on fishing once the plant materialises.