India’s nuclear power operator, NPCIL on Monday said it is hoping for a “positive discussion” with the West Bengal government regarding the proposed Haripur project, planned as a Russian collaboration. “We are ready. We are awaiting the decision from Bengal government on Haripur (in East Midnapore district). I hope to have a positive discussion very soon with the Bengal government,” the Nuclear Power Corporation of Indian Ltd’s (NPCIL) Additional Chief Engineer-Haripur Nuclear Park Anutosh Chakraborty told the media here. “The proposed NPP will be a VVER-1000 reactor and a 6 X 1000 MW project,” he said.
Addressing the media on the sidelines of the launch of a flash report on Coastal Avian Diversity Survey West Bengal-2017 (CADS-WB), which encompassed Henry Island, Frezerganj to Petuaghat through sea route and coastal area spanning Ganga delta and Haripur near Mandermoni Beach, Chakraborty said this is the first time for a proposed NPP, that a bird survey has been done during the pre-project phase. “The latest survey is the second edition of the bird count,” he said.
Asked on the survey having links with the proposed NPP, Chakraborty denied any direct association. “It is a pre-project activity. I am not considering this as Environment Stewardship Programme (ESP). The primary goal of the CADS-WB is to have an operational monitoring programme that will be sustained for decades on end to aid in the recovery of imperiled shorebird populations,” he said. Habitats and wildlife in and around NPP sites are preserved and maintained through ESP by NPCIL.
The volunteers of NPCIL, members of Prakruti Samsad, researchers from Wildlife Institute of India-Deheradun and other like-minded birders participated in CADS-WB. “Total birds counted were 4,501, total species detected were 97. Species checklist has been updated to 116,” he said. Among those in the ten most abundant species, the experts recorded the near-threatened Eusrasian curlew. Other species sighted were Kentish plover, Greater Sand plover, blue-tailed bee eater etc.
“There are elements who have vested interests in the area and they feel their interest will be damaged if the NPP comes up at Haripur,” added Priyadarshan Mishra, Executive Member, Narora Atomic Power Station-ESP, one of the officials who prepared the report.