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    Jaitapur: why protests against nuclear plant

    Jaitapur: Jaitapur - the site for India's largest nuclear power plant has taken a violent turn. Thousands of farmers are agitating that the land classified in government reports as barren in fact is one of the most fertile and rich home to cashew and mango plantations.

    And the fishermen of Sankri Nata, allege the power plant will mean the end of their livelihood.

    Fisherman Abdul Mahmood said, "Our access points to the sea are within 1.5 - 2 km but the plant will cover around 3 kms for security reasons which will cut off our access to the sea. Where will we go? What will we fish? The pipeline of the plant will suck in 5200 lts of water for cooling. And the heated water will be released back in sea which will destroy spawning of the fish, fish will move out to other areas."

    Over 5000 fishermen from this village have not even counted in the compensation package.

    The sea is abundant here with marine life. The fishermen here on an average catch fish worth Rs 10,000 they are caught and sent to factories. The challenge now is how to protect the diversity of the marine life in this area.

    People allege that a 2km pipeline will be laid and that will be detrimental for the fisherman and for the fish in the sea.

    Back at the harbour thousands of fish are brought in everyday, the worry is what will happen once the access to the sea is closed.

    For Mihir Desai - one of the agitators who was arrested for protesting against the plant its not about compensation - but the kind of development that's being imposed on them.

    Desai said, "We want development but they should consult us. When we buy clothes for kids, we always ask our kids. Government should also have asked us also what kind of development we want. Development can also be done in terms of cashew, mango, coconut farming which exists here. There should be a factory and export zone for mango.

    Fact is the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) will compensate only fraction of farmers, those displaced from their livelihoods will be more than 40,000.

    Even as the world debates nuclear energy, here at ground zero in Jaitapur, the land has been taken over and the people have refused to accept any cheques of compensation from the State government.