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India: Government called to opt public mandate about its nuclear dreams

 

Monday June 09, 2014

India, Nuclear Power Programme, Koodankulam Power Plant  
 
"The nuclear energy programme of India is not just about generating electricity. When the government starts nuclear power plants all along the Indian coast at Koodankulam, Kalpakkam, Kovvada, Pati Sonapur, Haripur, Jaitapur, Tarapur, Mithi Virdi and so on, all these huge and foreign power plants would be dumping hot and contaminated water and radioactive wastes into the sea with disastrous impact on our sea, seafood, ground water, crops and so forth. Our food security and nutrition security will be drastically affected. As it is, some 42 percent of our children are born malnourished and with severe deficiencies."  

HNF Correspondent

 
 

Emphasizing upon a public mandate on the nuclear plant projects pursued by the government of India, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) calls, through a recent release, for a national debate on the Indian government’s ambitious and aggressive nuclear power program. In order to ensure a public mandate, the release sought to make it a poll issue in the upcoming Parliamentary elections and declared, “If the Congress Party or the BJP or any other party for that matter manages to convince the Indian voters about this full-scale nuclearization of the India and obtains absolute majority in the next Parliament, we will call off the ongoing struggle against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) immediately.”

 

UPA and the dirty political game

Explaining that the ruling coalition ‘UPA’ has lost trust of people and engaged in dirty games to pursue it anti-people schemes, the release said, “Since the incumbent Congress-led UPA government is accused of obscene and rampant corruption and scandals, and has lost all moral authority and legitimacy to rule the country, the people of India cannot, and will not, let them take this important nuclearization decision about the future and wellbeing of the second most populous country in the world. Whole India knows how the present Manmohan Singh government manipulates the Parliament and gets through its devious policies and deceitful schemes. They played all kinds of dirty games and dubious politics to get the Indo-US Nuclear Deal passed in the Parliament. The Indian citizens have witnessed a much worse drama on the recent voting on the FDI issue. The Congress-led government threatened and/or seduced political parties and unscrupulous politicians such as M. Karunanidhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Lalu Prasad Yadav and others with serious cases or selective incentives to win their support for FDI. Now we hear that Walmart has spent an exorbitant amount of money in India to manipulate the entire Parliamentary processes.”

Saying that the political parties and leaders have detached themselves from people, the release added, “Indian citizens simply do not, and cannot, trust these unprincipled, immoral, corrupt and self-seeking “leaders” and their family-run parties to decide all our fate, our progenies’ destiny, and our precious natural resources.  Most of the present-day “leaders” are all sell-outs and they work for foreign governments, their agencies and MNCs. These cancerous elements’ only motive in public life is self-aggrandizement, self-perpetuation, and self-indulgence. Even if these old manipulative Machiavellis lose power (and die), we will still be stuck with their equally bad and corrupt sons and daughters. Nonetheless, let the people of India have a say in the important decision of nuclearizing India.”

Nuclear Power Plants: Not just about Electricity

“The nuclear energy programme is not just about generating electricity”, said the release adding that “When the government starts nuclear power plants all along the Indian coast at Koodankulam, Kalpakkam, Kovvada, Pati Sonapur, Haripur, Jaitapur, Tarapur, Mithi Virdi and so on, all these huge and foreign power plants would be dumping hot and contaminated water and radioactive wastes into the sea with disastrous impact on our sea, seafood, ground water, crops and so forth. Our food security and nutrition security will be drastically affected. As it is, some 42 percent of our children are born malnourished and with severe deficiencies. If we lose the cheap and best fish food also, only the politicians’ and bureaucrats’ children will have the physical health and mental faculties to lead normal healthy life. The present-day slavery will, only, be perpetuated.”

The danger of nuclear plants keeps on expanding as the Indian elites build even more nuclear power plants at Kaiga, Chutka, Banswada and Fatehabad and so on, meant the release apprehending that “most of the Indian citizens will be exposed to dangerous radiation all over the country and we all will be paying a heavy price for diseases and ill health.” Reasoning all these to the selfish intents of Indian political leadership, the release said, “The government of India does not take these hidden costs into account as our “leaders” are constantly working for their money and their children’s power.”

The Call: Be transparent to people

Pressing on the fact that nuclear plants would cost more to the common citizen than what the country proposes to gain out of it in terms of power, the release demanded that the government of India and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) must maintain 100% transparency in case of all the existing and upcoming nuclear projects and, displaying its commitment to transparency and people, must share all information and the documents including the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report, Site Evaluation Report (SER), Safety Analysis Report (SAR), Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP), Concerned Reactor’s Performance Report, Liability Regimes etc. in English, Hindi and the local languages.

The release reiterated the offer of PMANE saying, “Let the whole country discuss these reports and information and engage in a nation-wide debate about the exorbitant cost of nuclear energy, the hidden costs such as food insecurity and diseases, nuclear safety, nuclear waste management, decommissioning technology and costs, and the whole array of related issues.”

Calling upon the leaders to accept the offer and leave it to people to decide, the release said, “If the corrupt “leaders” of India have not sold the country to the United States, Russia and France, let them take up this democratic offer and work with us instead of sending discredited scientists, macho model boys and subservient bureaucrats amidst us to convince the clear-headed citizens of India.”

 
 

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