India has stopped taking its own decisions. Other countries are deciding what is good for our country.

We are governed by somebody outside our boundaries, former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (retd) L. Ramdas said at a seminar organised against setting up of nuclear power plant at Kovvada in Srikakulam district, here on Sunday. He said that authorities were turning authoritarian by branding those opposing Government policy as anti-nationals and enemies of State. This was defeating the true spirit of democracy, he said and referred to the agitation in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. He criticised the Centre for forcefully acquiring land from Dalits and Adivasis by antiquated colonial laws.

In all land acquisitions there were no instances of wealthy class losing their lands, Ramdas maintained.

Former Chairman of Nuclear Power Corporation Dr.A.Gopalakrishnan wondered if our country needed nuclear power at all, going by the experience of Chernobyl and Fukoshima and the latest move of several western countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland etc to phase out nuclear power plants by 2022. Speaking on the possible hazards of the proposed nuclear power plant at Kovvada, he said that in the event of a mishap even 1 percent of the 100 micrograms of plutonium if leaked into the atmosphere can kill 15,000 of people within no time and in the event of strong winds blowing towards Visakhapatnam it would have catastrophic consequences. He said that he did not foresee any change in the government’s thinking even if there is a change in the political combinations after the next general elections.

Dr.K.Baburao, convenor of anti-Kovvada power plant movement said that it would cost a whopping Rs.360 lakh crore for setting up a single plant. If all the power plants proposed meets only two per cent energy needs of our country, is it worth sacrificing the lands of Dalits and Adivasis, he asked.

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