The Andhra Pradesh High Court on March 4 directed the counsels representing the State and the Centre to inform it within a week their stand on a petition that challenged the setting up of a nuclear power plant at Kovvada of Ranasthalam mandal in Srikakulam district.
The public interest petition filed by Captain J Rama Rao, a social activist, said the proposed acquisition of land and houses for six 1,000 mw Light Water Reactors to be set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) will take away the livelihood of scores of fishermen and farmers apart from making the area uninhabitable. Since this is a backward region, the inhabitants, being poor and ignorant, are not in a position to protect their rights, the petitioner said.
According to Gandra Mohan Rao, the counsel for the petitioner, the writ petition was filed in the interest of environment and the protection of the rights of the poor and ill-informed people and to get justice for them. During the last four years, the petitioner visited the proposed nuclear power plant location a number of times and interacted with the people who are going to be displaced by the plant.
The Kovvada villagers have been on a relay hunger strike since December 18, 2012 against the proposed nuclear power plant. The counsel told the court that the State government issued GO No 42, dated November 1, 2012, approving the notification for acquisition of over 1,900 acres from Ramachandrapuram, Kotapalem and its hamlets, Jeeru Kovvada, Tekkali and Gudem areas.
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