Skip to main content

Andhra N-plant will "destroy" agriculture, livelihood of locals: Ex-bureaucrat writes to Indian, Japanese PM

By Our Representative
Former energy secretary, Government of India, EAS Sarma has strongly opposed the setting up of 6,000 MWe nuclear plant near the village where he currently lives, Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh, saying he is “intensely concerned” about the safety of the people there in the event of an “unfortunate accident” taking place, similar to the one that struck the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear complex in March 2011.
Pointing out that he was sure “those residing in Gujarat and in the other states in India, where Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) proposes to set up new nuclear power plants, feel the same way”, Sarma has opposed, through a letter he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the setting up a nuclear power plant comprising of reactors and components supplied by the US and Japanese companies.
“The proposed nuclear plant will displace thousands of farmers and fisherfolk, destroy precious agriculture, deprive the local communities of their livelihoods and, in short, disrupt their lives in multifarious ways. The only agencies that benefit from such a project are the manufacturers of nuclear reactors and their components in the US and in Japan and the nuclear establishment whose survival depends on the survival of nuclear power”, the ex-bureaucrat underlines.
Sarma alleges, the decision to go ahead with the nuclear plants has been taken “after protracted negotiations, involving several contentious issues, often pressured by the western nuclear manufacturing lobbies and the nuclear establishment within Japan.” India and Japan are likely to clinch a nuclear supply agreement during Abe’s visit to India about a week’s time.
“While the protagonists of nuclear technology persistently try to justify proliferation of nuclear power on the ground that the probability of occurrence of a Fukushima-like accident in a nuclear power plant is low, none of them can ever deny that such accidents can take place one time or the other, either as a result of a natural disaster on which we have no control or as a result of a human failure that we cannot wish away”, Sarma says.
Giving the examples of Three Mile Island accident (1979), the Chernobyl accident (1986) and the more recent Fukushima accident (2011) as grim reminders of this, Sarma says, there have so far been “99 potential, well-documented disasters that took place in the five decades that preceded Fukushima.”
He adds, “Japan is still struggling to clean up Fukushima even four years after the accident. I wonder whether it will ever be able to decommission it fully and declare the area to be 100 per cent safe!”
“In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension. It is ironic that Japan should become a major actor in pushing nuclear power like never before, especially at a time when the people of Japan are yet to come to grips fully with the aftermath of Fukushima”, Sarma says.
He adds, “Apart from the safety concerns, the global experience during the last decade has shown that nuclear power is highly expensive and unaffordable in a country like India.”

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".