Skip to main content

Setback to N-ambition? Village panchayats' meet turns Mithi Virdi-Jasapara area into Nuclear Free Zone

A banner displayed at the meet
By Our Representative
In a development which is likely to have far-reaching impact on the proposal to develop an ultra mega nuclear power plant on the southern Saurashtra coast of Gujarat, the gram panchayats of five villages have passed a resolution declaring the entire Mithi Virdi-Jasapara region as Nuclear Free Zone.” In a statement, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Gujarat’s environmental body, has said, “This is the area where the Manmohan Singh-Narendra Modi governments have planned in tandem to set up 6,000 MW of nuclear power plant, spread over 777 hectares of prime agricultural land, against which the local villagers have led a consistent, vocal protest.”
Passed on March 9 evening, those who participated in the meeting included sarpanches or village heads Shaktisinh Gohil (Jasapara), Samuben Dabhi (Mithivirdi), Vilasba Gohil (Mandva), Pruthvirajsinh Gohil (Khadarpar), Dayalbhai Jambucha (Paniyali) and the members of these gram panchayats. The resolution to declare the region Nuclear Free Zone was passed “unanimously”, PSS said, adding, “A copy of the resolution will be sent to President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, and secretary-general, United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.
The statement said, “Orchards of mangoes, chikoos, coconut trees, lush greenery, sea and ships passing by, describe aptly the Mithivirdi-Jasapara area in the Talaja block of Bhavnagar district. This lush green area is the irrigated region of Shetrunji dam. At a time when Special Investment Region has become the most lobbied term in the state of Gujarat, this region too should be announced as SAR (special agricultural region) for agricultural purpose.”
The statement added, “Situated on the Saurashtra sea coast, one would assume that the land is barren and un-inhabited, but a visit here belies all these assumptions. It is perhaps from this mistaken presumption that the proposal for a 6000 MW nuclear power plant spread over 777 hectares on this green lush land must have taken place.”
The statement further said, “Presently on this 777 hectare of land spread in Jasapara, Mithivirdi, Khadarpar, Mandva stand 50,000 fruit trees. Also, bajra, cotton, groundnut, onions and other crops are sown year round due to irrigation facilities. This area is therefore aptly called Bhavnagar's vegetable basket -- a reason, why local villagers who stand to lose not only their land and livelihood but also a potential environmental risk if the nuclear power plant were to come up here.”
Proposed to be developed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NCPIL), a Government of India undertaking, the resolution suggests “people’s desire to keep the neighbourhood nuclear power free”, the environment body in its statement signed by Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah said. The resolution is significant, in view of the fact that the environmental public hearing of the proposed nuclear plant ran into controversy, as it was held on the basis of an environmental impact assessment study, an unaccredited agency, inviting strong protests from the locals (click HERE to read details).
Important salient points of the resolution are:
  • The production of nuclear weapons or of nuclear power shall not be allowed in the city/ village/ municipality. No facility, equipment, components, supplies or substance used for the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear power shall be allowed in the city/ village/ municipality.
  • No person, corporation, university, laboratory, institution or other entity in the city/village/municipality knowingly and intentionally engaged in the production of nuclear weapons or with respect to nuclear electricity generation shall commence any such work within the city/ village/ municipality after adoption of this chapter.
  • Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or regulate the research and application of nuclear medicine or the use of fissionable materials for smoke detectors, light-emitting watches and clocks and other applications where the purpose is unrelated to the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear power. 
  • Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to infringe upon the rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
The statement concludes, “We are opposed to all aspects and parts of the so-called nuclear fuel cycle and expressly forbids the production of nuclear energy, the presence of any equipment and materials related to the carrying out of any part of the fuel cycle and opposes any storage of nuclear waste.”

Comments

Administrator said…
So you support nuclear medicine but oppose nuclear energy?

More people have been killed by nuclear medicine, just look up the history of accidents (granted it has saved even more lives, but you are choosing to look only at the risks).

Also consider that without nuclear power India will be in the dark and is running out of coal and oil.

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Attack on Gaza: Western media 'went out of the way' to obscure, protect perpetrators

By Sonali Kolhatkar*  Israeli forces killed more than a hundred Palestinians and wounded more than 700 on February 29, 2024 during a distribution of food aid in Gaza city, pushing the Palestinian death toll to 30,000 since October 7, 2023. The food aid massacre was straightforward in its deadliness as armed Israeli forces aimed weapons at desperate, hungry Palestinian civilians and killed many of them. It was also plausible within the context of who has firepower and who doesn’t, and wholly consistent with Israeli atrocities, especially those committed since October 7, 2023.

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas. 

Stressing on standardisation, efficiency, capitalists 'intensify' workers' exploitation

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The productivist ideology lies at the core of the profit-making pyramid of capitalism. It perpetuates a relentless cycle characterized by busy schedules, workplace tension, an imbalance in work-life equilibrium, and a pervasive sense of alienation. 

Development? This tribal hamlet in Chitrakut has no toilets, no electricity connections yet

By Bharat Dogra*  As we moved away from the starting point of the Bundelkhand Expressway and a famous pilgrimage site into a side-road, the hills of Chitrakut here appeared to be more and more isolated. Another turn, and we appeared to have reached almost a dead-end. However it is here that over 80 households of the Kol tribal community have been living for a long time.

WTO 'loses legitimacy': CSOs shut out of normal participation in MC13 at Abu Dhabi

By Deborah James  Given unprecedented repression of participants, the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Abu Dhabi should not continue until historical and international standards and human rights for participation in global governance are restored.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".