SRIKAKULAM: Close on the heels of the State government giving the go ahead for the Kovvada nuclear power plant in Srikakulam district, the residents of the village put forth a list of 22 demands at a grama sabha jointly organised by the district administration and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) on Tuesday.
Prior to sending the social impact assessment survey reports to expert committee, the administration organised the meeting at Kovvada to elicit public opinion.
The demands included permanent job to each displaced family, triple bedroom house for evictees, construction of a jetty to protect the livelihood of fishermen, additional 100 acres for fishing related works, compensation on par with Bhogapuram airport project oustees and waiver of home loans, apart from construction of a cyclone shelter in the area. Seeking compensation of `35 lakh per acre, the villagers said that the government must ensure that the affected villages are developed on all fronts under CSR scheme. Further, they demanded that Kovvada be declared a revenue village.
“The value of all properties belonging to the panchayat to be acquired for the nuclear project should be transferred to panchayat’s account. The authorities should set up corporate schools and hospitals in the area,” said M Ramesh, sarpanch of Kovvada, while presenting the charter of demands at the grama sabha.
Allaying fears over the possible impact on the environment and public health, NPCIL chief engineer Venkat Ramesh said the Environmental Protection Training and Research Institute (Hyderabad) has conducted a digital social impact assessment survey for six months in and around Kovvada. “A fund of `60 lakh was spent on the survey to ensure transparency. The reports will be sent to expert panel. After getting the nod, a notification will be released for land acquisition,” he said, adding that the Centre has adopted the modern technology to set up the nuclear reactors.
In accordance with the new land acquisition rules, the government will pay high value package to the affected, said joint collector Chakradhar Babu.