Shift Jaitapur N-project to Gujarat or elsewhere: Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai,Dhaval Kulkarni: In yet another indication that differences between the ruling Shiv Sena and BJP persist, the Sena has demanded that the proposed 10,000MW nuclear power plant at Jaitapur in the Konkan be shifted outside Maharashtra, to Gujarat or other states. The BJP is supporting the project, which is envisaged as the largest nuclear power facility in India, whereas the Sena is opposed to it on grounds of opposition by local villagers and possible hazards.

“The project can be shifted to any other state. If the plant came up at Jaitapur, other states could buy power from it. So, if it comes up in some other state, Maharashtra can take power from it… now, Maharashtra faces a 100% risk but only stands to get a certain percentage of the power,” said Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

“Why Maharashtra? Take it to Gujarat. We can purchase the quantum of power that we require. We are not against development.”

He hastened to add that like Gujarat, other states too could take the initiative to shift the project there.

The Sena, which has opposed the government’s land acquisition ordinance in its present form, has sought a single-window system for farmers to get compensation for the land acquired from them. This will be on the lines of facilities for industrialists who want to invest in the state.

Uddhav also demanded that the government come out with data on the land acquired in Maharashtra for various projects, projects which were completed and are pending, and the rehabilitation status of those whose lands had been acquired.

He sought in-situ rehabilitation of residents who will be affected by the proposed Metro III line from Colaba to Bandra and Seepz. He said the proposed development plan for Mumbai should beautify the city and not muddle it. Uddhav added that it was necessary to evaluate the previous development plans for Mumbai and see if the city had grown as envisaged by them.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said the party’s proposal to allow commercial establishments in non-residential and business areas to stay open throughout the night was aimed at benefitting the working class.

“Mumbai belongs to the working class. They should be able to go to a restaurant after working hard the whole day. They should be able to get a meal for Rs29 and say annadata sukhi bhava,” he said, in an obvious swipe at prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Parliament canteen for a meal.

To ensure a vibrant nightlife for Mumbai, Yuva Sena president and Uddhav’s son Aaditya Thackeray had met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, seeking that commercial establishments in non-residential and business areas be allowed to stay open through the night.

Uddhav said the proposal does not aim at promoting consumption of liquor as alleged by critics.