SRIKAKULAM: The awareness meeting conducted by officials of the district and Nuclear Power Corporation on the proposed nuclear power plant at Kovvada in Ranasthalam mandal of the district Monday ended peacefully and on an optimistic note.
The officials heaved a sigh of relief and can claim a victory of sorts now that they have cleared the doubts of the locals on the plant. The meeting was called to allay the fears of the local people on the nuke power plant. Along with people’s representatives, Corporation officials present at the Kovvada meeting assured the people that there would not be any problem or loss for the people from the plant. They made it clear that the Central government, besides an attractive package, would provide the locals with townships, livelihood opportunities and medical and health facilities.
To allay the fears of the locals, officials asked them to air their views, and explained the working of the plant. The collector, who recently visited Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, gave a graphic description of the things that he had observed there.
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, for the first time in India, is planning to establish a nuclear energy park with 10,000 mw capacity and as part of it Kovvada plant was thought of, the collector said. Nrusimham exhorted the farmers to cede their lands and cooperate as their counterparts did for the state capital in Guntur district. The government would extend all support to fishermen as well and would not be put to inconvenience.
In fact after the Koodankulam plant was set up, the collector said, the lives of fishermen improved and fish production increased. He also said that the ecology of the area would not be affected by the proposed Kovvada plant. All the would-be displaced people would be protected with a good package in accordance with the norms. There will be 10 per cent more compensation and even the survey work would be expedited, the collector said.
On the occasion, MLA Kala Venkata Rao said that post-bifurcation Andhra Pradesh was facing a lot of problems. The state’s future lies only in industrialisation, he said. The district would develop with the nuke plant and affected people would get best of packages, the MLA promised.
Responding, the locals and the opposition party leaders who spoke on the occasion said that they would let the government know their opinion in 10 days after a threadbare discussion among themselves. They made it clear in one voice that they would not agree to the Kovvada plant till the government provides them with all the facilities as per their needs.