Statement on recent developments pertaining to people’s struggle against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project

October 10, 2011

We congratulate the activists and people of Tamilnadu for waging a sustained protest against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project.  A delegation of activists from Koodankulam met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the 7th September.

That the struggle has been able to force the State Cabinet to adopt a resolution and the Central Government set up a committee is a great success. However, it is also clear that the Central Government is very reluctant to go for a meaningful process of review. Not only does the press release from the PMO avoid any clear assurance of stopping work at the Koodankulam site despite his oral promise, but also sets a very limited mandate for the expert committee to ‘interact’ with the ‘representatives of the people of the region’ and satisfy their concerns about safety.

It is also unfortunate that after this rather limited assurance, the Prime Minister has written a letter to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalitha counting on her support ‘in ensuring the timely implementation of the Kudankulam Project.’ The letter also reduces the entire question to ‘allaying the fears’ of people and enhancing public awareness while the movement has also raised issues of displacement and livelihood, environmental impact, economic justifications of the nuclear power projects and the very rationale for a massive nuclear expansion. After the Prime Minister’s volt face, 7000 people observed a token fast on 9th September and are going to intensify the struggle.

We find this attitude of the Manmohan Singh led Union Government very unfortunate and reiterate our demand for a democratic, open and widest possible national consultation on nuclear energy.

For CNDP
Achin Vanaik
Admiral Ramdas
Amarjeet Kaur
Anil Chaudhary
Praful Bidwai
Sukla Sen
N D Jayaprakash
J Sri Raman