A candlelight vigil was observed in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, opposite the GVMC Office at Asilametta, on Tuesday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Members of various rights organisations, women's and dalit organisations and environment groups held candles and placards against nuclear power plants.
Later, the participants went in a rally around the area and distributed pamphlets among passers-by listing the dangers posed by nuclear power plants. They also raised slogans against nuclear plants and demanded that the Government should invest in alternative energy sources like wind and solar plants which do not cause any damage to the environment.
Human Rights Forum State general secretary V.S. Krishna said the Government of India has failed to learn from the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in the USA in 1979, the Chernobyl disaster in Russia in 1986 and the more recent nuclear tragedy at Fukushima in Japan. He demanded that the Government should declare total moratorium on all proposed nuclear power plants in the country including the ones at Kovvada in Srikakulam district, Pulivendula in Kadapa district and Nizamapatnam in Guntur district and phased decommissioning of existing nuclear plants in the country.
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster that occurred on April, 26, 1986, was one of the worst man-made disasters of the 20th century. The nuclear fallout from the plant had spread to several regions in the erstwhile Soviet Union and also many parts of Europe resulting in the death of lakhs of people over the years. Mr. Krishna described nuclear energy as the worst form of energy. He reiterated that the Governments should think of alternative energy sources at least now and save the world from the dangers of nuclear tragedies in future.