India is witnessing an uproar over a proposed nuclear power project, this time at Jaitapur. The project has received a setback, especially after the nuclear tragedy in Fukushima, Japan, due to the tsunami which struck the Japanese coastline. The proposed nuclear power project is a serious cause of concern for reasons manifold. First of all, the Jaitapur plant is on an earthquake prone zone. Besides, French EPR reactors have not been tested anywhere else in the world. The issue of proper rehabilitation of the people residing in the surrounding areas.
Under these circumstances, there is no wonder why thousands took into streets under the leadership of retired Justices B G Kolse-Patil and P.B. Sawant, social activist Vaishali Patil, and Admiral (retd) L Ramdas to show their protest. Unfortunately, their peaceful protest named “Tarapur to Jaitapur” yatra didn’t reach Jaitapur as they were detained or arrested by the police forces.
Despite protests that led to police firing, the government is going ahead with the nuclear power project at Jaitapur on Maharashtra’s Konkan coast and has entrusted Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, MoS in Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy and Department of Atomic Energy chief Srikumar Banerjee to argue the case.
Till now, no positive responses has come from the government despite criticism from many noted scientists, academicians, military experts and citizens from various parts of the country.
Though the government has announced constituting an independent regulatory board to ensure safety standards, it doesn’t assure a fresh review of the country’s nuclear energy policy.
Why is it that the government doesn’t see other safe and clean renewable energy options available in plenty in India? Will it need a ‘Chernobyl’ to draw open the eyes of the government? Tell us your take on this.