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Forest panel recommends clearance for Madhya Pradesh’s Chutka nuclear project

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-05-2017 Mayank Aggarwal

New Delhi: In line with central government’s policy of promoting nuclear power, the expert forest panel of the union environment ministry has recommended forest clearance for the 1,400 MW Chutka Madhya Pradesh Atomic Power Project (CMPAPP).

The project, whose estimated cost is about Rs16,550 crore, will have two 700 MW indigenous reactors.

The proposal for diversion of 119.46 hectares of forest area in Chutka region of Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh was discussed in the environment ministry’s Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) on 16 May.

According to the minutes of the FAC’s meeting, seen by Mint, more than 400 families of tribal families are likely to be displaced by the project.

During the FAC’s meeting, the site inspection report of environment ministry’s regional office in Bhopal was discussed. The report said the project was being recommended given its importance in promoting self-sufficiency in power.

FAC specified several conditions. It suggested compensatory afforestation of double the diverted forest land and sowing of nearly 119,460 plants.

India has installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6,700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come onstream by 2021-22 through projects that are presently under construction.

Last week, in a significant decision to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power programme and give a push to the country’s nuclear industry, the Union cabinet approved construction of 10 units of indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) whose total capacity will be 7,000 MW.

“With likely manufacturing orders of close to Rs70,000 crore to the domestic industry, the project will help transform Indian nuclear industry by linking our goal of a strong nuclear power sector with our indigenous industrial capacities in high-end technologies,” an official statement had said.

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