CM Prithviraj Chavan said the state govt would not accept any nuclear power project in Maharashtra, including the proposed Jaitapur plant, unless and until all safety issues were addressed.
Replying to a debate in the Assembly over motion of thanks to Governor for his address to the joint Budget Session on Monday, Chavan said a “question mark” has been put on the safety issues related to nuclear installations in the wake of the devastating quake and tsunami in Japan.“There is a raging debate over this issue not just in India but the world over. In Maharashtra, the state government will not accept any nuclear project including Jaitapur until all safety issues are addressed,” the chief minister said.
He said there has been a “deliberate” move to create suspicion in the minds of the local people in Jaitapur about the project.
“There should not be opposition just for the sake of it.” He said out of the total land acquired for the Jaitapur project, only 27 percent is agricultural land for which adequate compensation has been proposed.
The chief minister also dismissed “apprehensions” about harmful effect of the plant residue on the marine life and horticulture.
“The state government is ready to discuss the objections scientifically. There are 20 nuclear reactors in India and many of them have faced earthquakes,” he said.
Chavan said the state government was careful in selecting sites for nuclear plants and the existing installations fall within the seismic zone below 3.0, whereas in Japan and US the nuclear installations are situated in the seismic zones in the range of 4 and 5.
On the problem of load-shedding, he said the state would be free from it by December 2012.
“We will be able to increase our capacity generation by 5000 MW in 2013-14.”
Asserting that increasing FSI and TDR cannot be the only solution in providing “affordable” housing to urban people, Chavan said the percentage of urbanisation in the state is expected to cross 50 percent and the government was facing the “biggest challenge” of improving the standard of living of the urban population.
Until the value of land is unlocked and brought to the state treasury, the government will not be able to provide affordable housing, he said.
“Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) will play an important role in the initiatives to be unveiled by the state government on this front,” Chavan said.
Due to the RTI act passed by the Centre in 2005, several irregularities and scams are coming to light.
“Administrative decisions taken under a different context some years ago are brought into public domain and are discussed,” Chavan, who was the minster of state in PMO before replacing Ashok Chavan as chief minister, said.
Replying to the Opposition charge over piling up debt, Shavian said taking loans does not mean that development has been hampered.
“What is important is that the government is able to repay the loan on time. According to rules, the total loan should not be more than 26 per cent of the State GDP and ours is 23”, Chavan said.
Expressing concern over the decision of the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal award that allowed the height of Almatti dam to be raised by 25 meters, the chief minister said the issue was a “cause of concern”.
He said currently 24 lakh farmers have been covered under the crop insurance scheme and the government was planning to bring all farmers under the insurance limit.
Chavan said his government was “committed” to the cause of women and child welfare and also political empowerment of women by introducing 50 percent reservation for them in the local bodies.
He said he would clarify things in connection with the CVC controversy on Tuesday.