The first thing that strikes the visitor to Jaitapur-Madban in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, about 400 kilometres from Mumbai, is the sheer beauty of the place. The second thing that strikes you is the profusion of posters, banners and slogans which say “Areva Go Back”, “NO to Nuclear Power” and “Radiation Kills” in Marathi. These are the work of a grassroots movement against a project. This is planned to be the world’s largest nuclear power station.
Jaitapur's French-built nuclear plant is a disaster in waiting, jeopardising biodiversity and local livelihoods
Fragrance from the Jasmine Revolution, which overthrew Tunisia’s hated President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, is spreading, especially to Egypt, Yemen and Jordan, and triggering profound political changes in the West Asia-North Africa region. By the time these lines appear, it’s possible that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s oppressive 30-year-long reign would have ended and far-reaching changes would be under way in the neighbourhood.
The people of tiny Tunisia (pop. 11 million) could scarcely have imagined that their fight against the despotic rule of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali would trigger off the Arab world’s first real revolution, based on a mass upsurge—unlike palace coups or top-down regime changes elsewhere. Even less could they have expected it to spark the much greater flame that’s engulfing the Arab world now, especially its largest country, Egypt (pop. 84 million), where millions of people, young and old, men and women, intellectuals and municipal workers, are pouring out into the streets.
Imagine a beautiful ecosystem with virgin rainforests, great mountains, and immense biodiversity, in which two great rivers originate. Add to this a flourishing farming, fisheries and horticultural economy which grows the world-famous Alphonso mango. And you have the Jaitapur-Madban region in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district in the Western Ghats, termed by the Biological Survey of India as the country’s richest area for endemic plants.