The Tamil Nadu Bishops Council has appealed to the Centre and State government to consider the doubts and livelihood apprehensions of the people in all their dimensions before reaching a decision on the Kudankulam nuclear plant issue, and pave the way for peace.
A statement issued by Bishop Antony Devotta, Bishop of Tiruchi, after the three-day annual meeting of the council that concluded here on Wednesday, stated that the council accepted the livelihood demands of the people on the issue. The meeting was presided over by Bishop A.M.Chinnappa, chairman of the council.
It was the duty of the government to ensure that development projects and technology did not lead to the destruction of environment. The recent radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan had raised fears. Consequent to this, Germany decided to close down all its nuclear plants by 2022. Switzerland has also shunned nuclear power, while more than 90 per cent of Italians have voted against nuclear energy policy of the government. No new nuclear plant has been opened in the United States and Russia. All these reflected the people's awareness on the issue, the statement said.
It is in this backdrop that strong resistance has arisen among the people against the Kudankulam and the Jaitapur nuclear power plant. This has developed into a livelihood struggle of the people transcending religious, communal and political differences. The struggle is closely related to the life, trade, environment and the future of the people.
The Church had to face the situation and it had no political motive. While it opposed nuclear weapons completely, there was a need to address some major safety issues before establishing nuclear power plants. The energy policy should be based on these issues, keeping in mind the safety of people. When the people were apprehensive about their livelihood, environment, safety, it was the duty of the Church to share their concerns and find answers, the statement added.