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Beyond Nuclear Power

News Letter No. 93

AHI News Letter

February 2014

No. 93

 

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Table of Contents

- From your Editor

Focus Articles: 

- People's movement for anti-nuclear power plant,  Mr. T.N. Manjunath, India
- Community building through participatory activities, Ms. E. Tulgaa, Mongolia

Flash Articles

- Militarization and its Effects to Women in the Asia Pacific Region, Ms. G.L. Fernando, 
   Sri Lanka

Around Japan

- Japanese Activities on Fukushima
1) From Past, Now to Future
2) Nissin Citizens' Commitment
3) Foster Care for Infants
- Message for Peace from Nagasaki
- Spreading Hiroshima's Spirit of Peace, Ms. T. Watanabe, ANT-Hiroshima

HERE and THERE

- ILDC 2013, K. Shimizu, AHI, Japan

Support AHI

Call for Articles

 

People's movement for anti-nuclear power plant, Mr. T.N. Manjunath, India

Mr. T.N.Manjunath  1. Introduction

Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India, after thermal, hydro electric and renewable sources of electricity. As of 2012, India has Mr. Manjunath 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six power plants, generating 4,780 megawatts (MWe). While seven other reactors are under construction and are expected to generate an additional 5,300 MWe.
In October 2010, India drew up an ambitious plan to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000 MWe in 2032. Several Nuclear installations are planned in many states of India. Kowada in Andhra Pradesh, Jaitpur in Maharashtra, Mithi virdi in Gujarat, and Gorakhpur in Haryana. Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district, Tamilnadu was the longest Peoples Movement against Nuclear Programs. The fisherfolks, farmers, shopkeepers, Dalit workers, beedirolling women and others near the southernmost tip of India, have been fighting against the Koodankulam Nuclear power Project (KKNPP) since 1980s.

 

2. Non-Violent People's Protest

Local people in Idinthakarai Village gathered and protested against the Nuclear installations in 2011.
They were arrested, beaten by Police and dispersed by force. People started the agitation in a peaceful, non-violent way of Mahatma Gandhi following his footsteps of Ahimsa. Songs against the installations were sung by local activists and women. Gandhian way of Hunger strike by the local people and others were part of the agitation against Nuclear Power plant in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu. Indefinite Hunger strikes made people faint and weak. National media covered the peaceful agitation and activists stated that "Our right to life and livelihood be honored and respected! We want to make our country a world leader with New Energy, Appropriate Technology and Sustainable Development and not a slave of other countries. We want to leave a safe and healthy Earth, Seas and Sky for our children and their children not nuclear bombs and waste dumps."

This is a classic David-Goliath fight between the ordinary citizens of India and the powerful Indian government supported by the rich Indian capitalists, Multinational Companies, imperial powers and the global nuclear mafia. They promise Foreign Direct Investment, nuclear power, development, atom bombs, security and superpower status. We demand risk-free electricity, disease-free life, unpolluted natural resources, sustainable development and harmless future. They say the Russian nuclear power plants are safe and can withstand earthquakes and tsunamis. But we worry about their ill-effects. They speak for their scientist friends and business partners and have their eyes on commissions and kickbacks. But we fight for our children and grand children, our progeny, our animals and birds, our land, water, sea, air and the skies.

Kowada in Srikakulam District in Andhra Pradesh is another story of future devastation. The proposed plant has an area of 2,375 acres; 2,000 acres for the plant and 350 acres for the township of employees. Large tracts of land will be taken away. But nobody is ready to explain the likely impact on people's lives and health; a marginal farmer rues.

Authorities made rounds to several villages of Kowada and neighboring villages with an assurance that the youth would be given jobs once the N-plant is commissioned. Revenue officials said Kowada and Chinna Kowada villages would be completely wiped out and the displaced people get Rehabilitation and Resettlement package.

Jaitpur in Maharashtra, west coast of India, adds to the Nuclear power plant list. This site is located in a Seismic Zone.Konkan Bachao Samithi (Save konkan committee) activists are agitating against the damage this plant may cause if there is any Earthquake in this area. Its proximity to the Arabian Sea, any Tsunami kind of incident may damage all the villages around Jaitpur. Some reports mentioned the irreparable damage to the environment around the location. Nuclear Power plant is expected to use Sea water for cooling and released warm water to the sea may cause damage to marine life.

Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat is also affected by Nuclear power plant. Vast fertile agricultural land is being acquired for the nuclear power plant. Livelihoods of the local villagers are going to be snatched by this nuclear power plant. The area around Mithi Virdi is blessed with alluvial of Alang is adjacent to the proposed site. According to the documents of Atomic department Alang, ship breaking yard would be affected by the NPP, which means thousands losing their jobs and loss of revenue for the country. The villagers of Mithivirdi, Jaspara, Khadarpar and Mandva have been resisting to the proposed NPP since 2007. Various protests, rallies and public meetings have been organized since then. Villagers have twice thwarted governments and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) effort for land survey.

Regular village level meetings are organized in and around Mithi Virdi. On 23rd of September 2013 a huge tractor rally has been organized from Jaspara-Mithivirdi village to Bhavnagar the district headquarters and an important city of Saurashtra. More than 50 villages participated. The affected villages who would be losing their lands and those who are dependent on the village commons have submitted affidavits expressing their protest to not allow the project here.

Conventions and Seminars have been organized in Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar. The Mithi Virdi resistance has been actively participating in other Anti-NPP movements in India like the Jaitapur. The movement has built alliances across various issues of land acquisition nationwide.

Situation at the Ground is not different at Gorakhpur in Haryana State. Plant site is fertile land and sustains 10,000 people. Farmer sit-in protest in front of the Fatehabad mini-secretariat in Haryana completed 525 days on January 25, 2010. It has yielded little result. Yet the farmers from Gorakhpur, Kumaharia and Kajalhedi villages of Fatehabad district who are opposing acquisition of 608 hectares of their land for a nuclear power plant are determined  soil and beautiful weather. The rich farming activity of the area supplies fruits, vegeta bles and grains all year round to the nearby urban centers of Bhavnagar and Talaja. Bhavnagar district is highest producer of onions in India after Nashik in Maharashtra. Villages to be affected by the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) grow onions on large scale. Even some proponents of nuclear power honestly believed that nuclear energy is essential to the country but no such project should be set up in this area. It is a battle between power security and food sovereignty, and corporate profit versus livelihood.

The much touted Kalpasar project of the government of Gujarat is also proposed in close proximity to the proposed NPP. The largest ship breaking yard of Alang is adjacent to the proposed site. According to the documents of Atomic department Alang, ship breaking yard would be affected by the NPP, which means thousands losing their jobs and loss of revenue for the country. The villagers of Mithivirdi, Jaspara, Khadarpar and Mandva have been resisting to the proposed NPP since 2007. Various protests, rallies and public meetings have been organized since then. Villagers have twice thwarted governments and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) effort for land survey.

Regular village level meetings are organized in and around Mithi Virdi. On 23rd of September 2013 a huge tractor rally has been organized from Jaspara Mithivirdi village to Bhavnagar the district headquarters and an important city of Saurashtra. More than 50 villages participated. The affected villages who would be losing their lands and those who are dependent on the village commons have submitted affidavits expressing their protest to not allow the project here.

Conventions and Seminars have been organized in Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar. The Mithi Virdi resistance has been actively participating in other Anti-NPP movements in India like the Jaitapur. The movement has built alliances across various issues of land acquisition nationwide.

Situation at the Ground is not different at Gorakhpur in Haryana State. Plant site is fertile land and sustains 10,000 people. Farmer sit-in protest in front of the Fatehabad mini-secretariat in Haryana completed 525 days on January 25, 2010. It has yielded little result. Yet the farmers from Gorakhpur, Kumaharia and Kajalhedi villages of Fatehabad district who are opposing acquisition of 608 hectares of
their land for a nuclear power plant are determined to fight till the end. Since August 17, 2010, these
farmers under the aegis of non-profits Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and Parmanu Urja Virodhi Morcha (Farmers Agitation Movement and Movement against Nuclear power ) have been asking the state government to stop construction of the Gorakhpur nuclear power plant on the fertile agricultural land.

3. Legal action

Finally, in January this year they decided to file public interest litigation (PIL) in Punjab and Haryana High Court, following which notices were issued to the Department of Atomic Energy, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, NPCIL, Haryana government and others seeking a reply on the contentions raised on the project. The petition was filed by 59 residents of Gorakhpur village asking the judicial body to quash the land acquisition notices. Raising concerns about health and safety, the petitioners asked the court to shift the project to some barren or less fertile land in other districts.
The fertile land gives two to three crops per year and the only source of livelihood for them. A local resident says 30 villages in the Fatehabad district planned to hold a big protest so that the government takes note of the situation. He alleges that no public hearing was held for the project and the farmers were slapped with land acquisition notices. "The government is offering us Rs 32 lakh INR per acre (0.4 ha). But we don't want money! We want our land! Around 10,000 people sustain on this land," says a Local voice. On January 16, several non-profit and organizations like the Socialist Front, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, wrote to the chief minister of the state, asking him to withdraw land acquisition notices. They said new land acquisition bill is being considered by the Parliament and it would be presumptuous and premature for the state government to push through forceful land acquisition using the old Act.

Kaiga near river Kali in Uttara Kannada district of Kamataka is fighting against Nuclear power plant to save local environment for several years. There are reports about health hazards related to Power plant.
There has been consistent demand for a health survey by competent health authorities of the villages
around Kaiga. Complaints of people getting affected by cancer and other skin diseases are major concern of Kaiga Horata Samithi. Kaiga affecting the Western Ghats is another major concern by environmentalists. Save Western Ghats agitation is spearheading the movement against the destruction of local flora and Fauna by NPP.

4. Conclusion

The bottom line of all these power plant affected areas and population is loss of livelihood, loss of fertile agricultural land, destruction of local environment and deprivation of human health.

 

 

 

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