Dear Madam Chief Minister,
I fully and totally endorse the attached letter from Admiral Ramdas, the distinguished former Chief of Indian Navy and would request you to give serious consideration to its contents and act upon it expeditiously.
I for one, am perplexed by your statement on yesterday’s brutal police action in Idinthakarai and neighbourhood, appearing in the media today which inter alia states: “Recalling the various stages the project went through before fuel loading, she said even her government had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 19, 2011, urging him not to go ahead with the project work till the apprehensions of the local people were allayed. The State Cabinet adopted a resolution in this regard after the members of the People’s Movement for Nuclear Energy met her on September 21.”
Indeed true. But, at no point of time either the Government of India or the Government of Tamil Nadu made any sincere/genuine effort to meet the struggling project affected people (PAP) and ‘allay their fears’. Expert Committee motions and process were all mere paper work, far removed from the people and realities on the ground. They refused to even meet the PAP saying that it was not their mandate! Even the venerable Abdul Kalam did the same thing.
Fact of the matter is that there have been several bizarre, arbitrary, irregular and illegal happenings connected with KKNPP from the very beginning. What baffles people like us is that Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has given clearance for fuel loading and the nuclear establishment is going ahead with the ‘commissioning process’ despite the scathing report of Comptroller & Auditor General of India about ‘lapses in safety measures’ by the AERB posing “grave threats” to the country.
CAG, the highly regarded constitutional watchdog has highlighted several lapses by AERB: Non-preparation of a nuclear and radiation policy; No safety documents as recommended by two expert committees; No decommissioning plan which is extremely critical for public safety; Non-adoption of international safety standards and practices.
I would like to state that the struggling men, women and children are our own disadvantaged people ‘living in fear for their life and livelihood.’ The way to tackle them is not sending in 8000 riot police commanded by ADGP downwards. This will only increase their fear and terror and not allay them.
What is needed is your motherly and healing touch. I don’t have to advise you what to do. You know it better than anyone else.
M.G.Devasahayam IAS (Retd)