"It has been our stand that Shiv Sena will support the locals of Jaitapur who have been opposing the plant. If there is an opposition, then why should we go against the will of the locals. After all, we are working for the development of the people," State Industries Minister Subhash Desai told reporters here on Monday.
    
Villagers and other anti-nuclear activists have been protesting against the project on "scientific and environmental" grounds.
    
"We (Shiv Sena) believe that if the need for power (for Maharashtra) is sufficed by other sources of energy including conventional and non-conventional resources, then why set up a destructive project," he asked.

The government had proposed to build a 9,900 MW Jaitapur plant (1650 MW x 6) with Areva's EPR (European Pressurised Reactors) technology on the coastal village in Ratnagiri district. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Areva are still in discussion over the techno-commercial aspects of the project.
    
Criticising the previous UPA government, Desai said it (the government) failed to convince the locals about the safety aspects of the project.
    
"The government failed to convince the locals about thebenefits and safety aspects of the project. Therefore, there have been so much protests. However, we will continue to support the locals," Desai added.

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