Hardly a week passes without some protest at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, the site of a nuclear power park.
On Monday, one person was killed in police firing. By Tuesday, the situation had been inflamed by political parties trying to gain mileage out of a difficult situation (see Page 3).
There are interesting parallels between what happened in Singur and the situation in Jaitapur. In both cases, the state governments failed to assuage the very real fears of the local people. In one case, it was about livelihood and in the other, about safety. Opportunistic behaviour by opposition parties only made matters worse.
The time for taking corrective steps is ticking away. The Maharashtra government needs to wake up, fast.
The lesson here is to depoliticize the process of development in India. The venal search for political opportunities has the potential to endanger the country’s growth.