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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.

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