SRIKAKULAM: Several national-level organisations that are opposed to tapping atomic power have joined hands to fight against the establishment of a nuclear power plant in Kovvada village of Ranasthalam mandal in the district.
They have decided to involve people of Visakhapatnam too in their agitation as they believe that in case of an accident, radiation would spread to the port city as well.
The associations, including National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), National Alliance of Anti-Nuclear Movement (NAAM), Human Rights Forum, and Sanjeevini Paryavarana Seva Sangham, organised a meeting here on Wednesday and chalked out an action plan. The CPI(M) extended its support to the associations.
Speaking on the occasion, Madhuresh Kumar (NAPM), Sundar Rajan (NAAM), and Kumar Sundaram (PMANE ) expressed concern over the efforts to make Andhra Pradesh a nuclear hub by proposing to generate almost 30,000 MW of power from the State from places such as Nellore and Srikakulam.
“The total installed capacity of atomic power in India has not crossed 5,000 MW in the last 50 years. But the government plans to generate 60,000 MW by 2032. It is very dangerous for the country. The U.S. and other western countries are waiting to dump their technology in the country. People should fight against tapping atomic power as many countries, including Sweden and Vietnam, have decided not to depend on atomic power,” said Mr. Kumar Sundaram.
Mr. Madhuresh feared that the generations to come would pay a heavy price in case of accidents at the proposed plants.
“Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam towns will be affected as radiation would spread very fast if anything goes wrong in the plant proposed in Kovvada,” he said.
CITU State president Ch. Narasinga Rao and State vice-president D. Govinda Rao said that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) was yet to obtain site clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board for the Kovvada project.
Mr. Sundar Rajan, who hails from Tamil Nadu, recalled the various nuclear disasters reported world-wide and asked people of Srikakulam to fight against the proposed project on the lines of the agitation organised against the Kudankulam project in Tamil Naidu.
Sanjeevini Paryavarana Seva Sangham convener K. Ramam, anti-nuclear power activists Kavula Saraswati, Meena Sanghamitra, Vimala Malhotra, and Rahul Maganti said that the project would lead to heavy financial burden as the State government would be forced to buy atomic power at Rs.10 per unit when solar power was available at Rs.3 per unit in the country.
They said that NAPM leader Medha Patkar would visit Kovvada soon and mobilise people’s support against the power plant.
The leaders also sought the support of local farmers, who were yet to surrender their lands for the construction of the atomic power plant.