Villagers launch fresh protest against Jaitapur N-plant

Thousands of villagers today launched a 'jail bharo' (fill the jails) agitation demanding scrapping of the proposed 9,900-MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) coming up near Ratnagari.

Nearly 5,000 residents from neighbouring villages and fishing hamlets started a peaceful march to the JNPP site, some 400 km from Mumbai, where they proposed to court arrest.

Adwait Pednekar, co-convener of the Konkan Bachao Samiti, had said before launching the agitation, ''The jail bharo move is to reiterate the demand for cancellation of the Jaitapur project. The government should not pursue the proposed project at the cost of lives of the people, the flora and the fauna.

''The villagers are strongly opposed to the exploitation of the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts and the Konkan region in general and they will not allow the government to go ahead with its plans.''

The Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg district administration has, meanwhile, stepped up security arrangements. They have even clamped prohibitory orders to stop the protestors.

Led by the Machhimar Kruti Samiti (a fishermen's body) and other organisations, the protestors carried banners and placards and raised anti-nuclear plant slogans. The protest was led by Amjad Borkar, Mansur Solkar and Shiv Sena legislator Rajan Salvi.