Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) has selected Gorakhpur village (around 175 km from Delhi) in Fatehabad district of Haryana to set up the state’s first 4X700 mw nuclear power plant. The plant will be set up over 1,300 acres and will consume about 50 tonne of uranium annually, with about 700 officials/officers working in this plant. The project is likely to entail an investment of around Rs 12,000-14,000 crore over a period of time. It will be a green project with zero emission, thus having no health hazard even from radiation. The state government has assured supply of 320 cusec of water for the project. The land will be acquired by the state government around the villages of Kajalheri, Gorakhpur and Kumharia in Fatehabad. Adequate compensation and annuity will be provided to the landowners. The site has been approved keeping in mind factors like availability of land and water, and also its distance from populated places. Terming the project as completely safe, NPCIL officials assure the nuclear radiations won’t be harmful at all.
The villagers turned up in huge numbers to denounce the nuclear power plant since 2009. The angry protest of Haryana villagers demanded an end to nuclear power signifies the unity of the struggle. Their primary concerns were agricultural land acquisition, water and health hazard.
The in-principle clearance for the project was given in October 2009. At the beginning, some of the villagers welcomed the project, thinking that their land prices would go up, but from August 2010 they have strongly resisted the project, and the Kisan Sangharsh Samity (Organization for Farmers’ Struggles) was formed, and has held a continuous sit-in protest in front of the mini-secretariat at Fatehabad town from August 17, 2010 onwards.
With the proposed nuclear power plant, the agricultural economy that supports tens of thousands of people is likely to collapse, as much of the water from the Bhakra branch canal will be sucked in by the plant for its cooling requirement.
As the proposed site is hardly 150 kilometers from Delhi, any accident or major radioactive leakage will carry its effects to the doorstep of Delhi and the National Capital Region. Radioactive fall-out in the case of the Fukushima reactor accidents was minimized because of the Pacific Ocean and the prevailing winds.