The nuclear plant that is supposed to be built at Gorakhpur in Fatehabad, Haryana, is supposed to be the largest of its kind in the country. However, right from the start it has attracted a fair bit of controversy, perhaps more than its share. It is supposed to have a capacity of 2800 MW and in order to build it, the authorities had been trying to take over fertile land from the farmers. As appreciable it is to try and build a nuclear plant, it is also foolhardy on part of the state administration to expect that the farmers will be willing to give up their fertile tracts, especially considering the drought prone nature of the state.
The negotiations between the government and the farmers have gone on for the last 2 years and it was only in 2014 that some breakthrough could be achieved in this issue. The occasion was also marked by the laying of the foundation stone by Manmohan Singh during January 2014. Now the single biggest problem for getting this plant started has been water or rather the paucity of the same. In order to operate the plant, 320 cusecs of water are needed. The situation has been compounded by the lack of proper communication among the various governmental entities responsible for running the plant.
There is a serious doubt as to where the water is going to come from. Officials, working for the plant, are saying that the state government is supposed to provide the water and the irrigation department have refrained from commenting on the issue. As of now it is able to provide no more than 180 cusecs of water, thus leading to a significant deficit of 140 cusecs. It would have been good had the problems regarding this plant stopped just with the water issues but it isn't meant to be so.
1503 acres of land were acquired by the state government for this plant and 1313 acres of this were taken from Gorakhpur Village itself. As a result of the acquisition the farmers had issued a strong protest against the nuclear plant. There had been instances of picketing and a couple of farmers have also lost their lives in the process. However, all these sacrifices have come to pass now that the plant shows no sign of getting started. This situation, though, is not unexpected. it is merely a continuation of the long series of areas where the government has been unable to fulfill its commitments.
It would have been prudent on part of the government to do some feasibility study before it started with the plant. Haryana is not a state awash with water resources in fact 2014 has already been declared as a drought year. So it would have been prudent on part of the government to see if it would be able to get hold of adequate water resources. The end result is that a plant, which had a lot of promise, is now lying in development hell and no one knows when the situation could be corrected.