Maharashtra: Jaitapur nuclear power project to be operational by 2018, says Devendra Fadnavis

A delegation led by France's Foreign Secretary Christian Massetat called on Fadnavis to discuss future of the project, proposed to be built by French company Areva.

In a move to make the Jaitapur nuclear power project operative, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday directed officials to step up public outreach and ensure maximum employment to locals at the proposed site.

A delegation led by France's Foreign Secretary Christian Massetat called on Fadnavis at his official residence to discuss future of the project proposed to be built by French company Areva.

"People have several misconceptions about the project," Fadnavis said. "To address these concerns a dialogue with local officials needs to be built. Information on security and safety aspects related to the project need to be given."

Fadnavis indicated that work on the project is likely to start as early as next year. "Once there is a clarity on rates of the power generated from the project, the schedule can be announced and local people can be involved to ensure the project gets completed early," he added.

Commenting on the project, Massetat said the project is very important for France and indicated that the work on the project will start by 2018, and the first reactor can get operational by 2025. All the six reactors can start generating power by 2027 and a total of 10,000 MW would be generated from the project.

He added that special security measures have been included in the project after studying nuclear disasters world over. Around 60 per cent of the supplies for the project would be procured locally and participation of local industry in developing the project would be ensured. He also assured that power rates too would be affordable.

Interestingly, Fadnavis had kept Industries Minister Subhash Desai from the Shiv Sena away from this meeting, taking into consideration the party's stiff opposition to the project. The Shiv Sena is of the view that the Jaitapur project should not be commissioned as it will have an adverse impact on the ecology and subsequently the local fishermen will lose their livelihood.

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