We will scrap Haripur nuclear project: Mamata

Indo Asian News Service

Kolkata, April 24 (IANS) Hours after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said his government would review the proposed nuclear plant at Haripur, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday said she will scrap the project if her party came to power in the state.

'Haripur is not the proper place for setting up a nuclear power plant because it is a densely populated area. Fishermen will also be affected. We will do it elsewhere,' Banerjee said in an interview to a Bengali television channel Star Ananda Sunday night.

Asked to name an alternative site, she said: 'I can't say now. We have to hold detailed discussions before deciding that.'

'If need be, the plant can come up in some other state also,' she added.

Banerjee's party has led an intense agitation for the last few years against the state government's bid to set up the proposed plant in Haripur in East Midnapore district.

Assembly polls are being held in West Bengal April 18-May 10. The results will be declared May 13.

Earlier, Bhattacharjeee said his government would review the proposed plant in the wake of the crisis in the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan after an earthquake and tsunami.

'The crisis that has engulfed the Japanese nuclear plant after the recent earthquake has led to a re-think and resentment in the world about such nuclear power projects. This is very logical as such a thing has happened even in a developed country like Japan. We have also decided to do a review of the plant,' Bhattacharjee told a media meet here.

'We are yet to take a final decision. But we need to take the view of experts and scientists.'

The 9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent 15-metre tsunami March 11 left up to 28,000 people dead or missing and wrecked the infrastructure in northeastern Japan.

It also triggered a crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant that is being rated at the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.