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Protest against Gujarat N- plant.

WHEN President Barack Obama discusses key issues, including the major Indo- US Civil Nuclear Deal, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his India visit that began on Sunday, the two leaders will have to address a stronglyworded letter from thousands of non- descript Gujarat's villagers who are up against a high- profile nuclear power plant to be signed here between American giant Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited ( NPCIL).

Thousands of villagers, backed by environmental activists, have been agitating against the proposed 6,000- MW nuclear project in Mithi Virdi area in the Bhavnagar district for nearly two years. The project proposes six nuclear reactors of 1,000 MW each.

Jointly drafted by environmental activists and villagers, the letter asserted that Engineers India Limited, the environmental consulting firm nominated by the NPCIL to conduct environmental impact for the power plant, has no official accreditation to conduct such an assessment.

Shaktisinh Gohil, the sarpanch of Jaspara village near the proposed site, told Mail Today that nearly two lakh people from 152 villages in the radius of the project will be adversely affected by the mega plant.

Gohil says the rich alluvial soil in the region will be threatened by the proposed plant, which is simultaneously located only five kilometres from a lignite mining site. Moreover, the villagers point out that Alang, Asia's biggest ship- breaking yard, is just a stone's throw away and already faces serious environmental concerns.

Villagers have drawn attention that the Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked NPCIL to " revise" and " resubmit" its Environment Impact Assessment ( EIA) report for the project, as it lacks clarity on many issues.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 26, 2015
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