Mumbai, Feb. 15: Raj Thackeray today supported the proposed 9,900MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Park, India’s largest nuclear power project, in Ratnagiri district and urged residents to welcome the joint venture with France’s Areva.
Speaking at a packed public meeting at Khed in Ratnagiri, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief rejected opposition solely on the grounds that a tsunami or an earthquake could destroy the project and cause widespread ecological damage.
“The tsunami can hit anywhere…. There are two nuclear power projects close to Mumbai. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is located right in the heart of Mumbai since 1960s, but people in Mumbai are living securely,” he said.
Alleging that lobbyists for the coal industry were behind the opposition to the Jaitapur project, Thackeray said: “The Jaitapur project — if its bad for you, scrap it. But, if someone is playing politics, then do not squash it. If it is good for you, go ahead and welcome it.”
The Shiv Sena and the Left have declared their support for local farmers and fishermen opposing the project.
The Jaitapur project was among the issues visiting French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed yesterday.