The Communist Party of India has called for a fresh environment assessment to be carried out at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project site and its vicinity.
Justifying the need for such an assessment, D. Raja, CPI National Secretary, told journalists that the last such assessment, carried out prior to the establishment of the plant, was done in a very casual manner.
The fresh assessment should be carried out by a team of people that included experts outside the government establishment.
And the findings should be published in English and Tamil and shared with the people. Till the report was published and the people's fears allayed, the Government of India should halt the work at the KKNP I and II and not take up the proposed reactors III, IV, V and VI.
He also asked the Union Government to clearly spell out its nuclear policy and publicly state the cost factor involved in generating nuclear power. “Let people know the economics of nuclear power.” The Government must also say what safety measures it had with regard to the storage of spent fuel.
Mr. Raja asked the Union Government to not just take a sympathetic view of the Sri Lankan Tamils and hand over money for the reconstruction of the war-torn areas but play a political role by talking to the Sri Lankan government to ensure that the Tamils got the rights they deserved.
The CPI was of the view that the capital punishment awarded to Santhan, Perarivalan and Murugan should be commuted considering their long incarceration in prison. The party's stand on death sentence was not limited to the three but to all those given capital punishment. India was one of the few countries that had not abolished capital punishment as per the U.N. Charter on Human Rights.
Replying to a question on the State Government's stand on the issue, he said the party was looking forward to the Central Government's approach to the issue, especially after the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a resolution favouring commutation of the death sentence.