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Saturday, March 5, 2011

NPCIL to complete groundwork for Bengal project by '12

Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is slated to complete preliminary ground work for its controversial 6,000 mw power plant in West Bengal by March 2012. 
The proposed nuclear power project at Haripur has run into trouble with locals resisting land acquisition. NPCIL, however, has gone ahead and started ground work. Land acquisition for the project is likely to start by 2013. 
"Ground work includes collection of oceanography and meteorological data, which is currently in progress. However, we are not carrying out any geo-technical test at present. This can wait for some more time. But by March 2012 all basic information will be with us," NPCIL chairman S K Jain said in Kolkata on Wednesday. 
"Following completion of data acquisition, the site will have to be finally cleared by the Atomic Energy Commission board. Following this, NPCIL will start land acquisition. The project will require around 650- 700 hectares for setting up the two reactors of 1,000 mw each in the first phase," Jain said on the sidelines of the conference "Frontiers of Science". 
The NPCIL chairman said the company was not facing any difficulty in carrying out data collection work. He said efforts would be made to win over the locals with attractive rehabilitation packages and measures would be taken to ensure there was no environmental damage because of the project. 
"The project will not be harmful to the environment or affect fishing activities in the coastal areas of East Midnapore. It will, in fact, be a major boost to the local economy and help maintain ecological balance," Jain said. 
Land acquisition for the projec would start by 2013, Jain said. "We need 18 months of activities before the first reactor comes up. Since we plan to begin work during the 12th Plan period in 2013-14, we have not yet come to the land acquisition stage. But we must start acquiring by late 2012 or early 2013 if we have to stick to the schedule. We are confident of being able to go ahead." 

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