Fact Finding Team Opposes Nuclear Plant Near Kavali

DARA GOPI

Amaravati: A fact finding team consisting of representatives of various peoples’ organizations interacted with the people of the effected villages of the proposed nuclear power plant area and found that majority of the people were against it.  

The team comprising of Amit Kumar (NAPM Delhi), Meera Sanghamitra (National Convener, NAPM), Subba Rao (INSAF), Rohith (HRF), Vimala (Activist and Writer), Rahul (Freelance Journalist), Srinivas (Lecturer, Jawahar Bharathi College, Kavali), Malakonda Reddy (President, JVV Prakasam District) and Rajendra (Secretary, JVV Kavali) visited the villages under Pedapattepupalem panchayat  – Peddachennayapalem, Chinnachennayapalem, Pallepalem, Nandemmapuram, Kottanandemmapuram, Seetaramapuram and Pedapattepupalem – in Kavali rural mandal of Nellore district on March 20th , 2017.

The team has interacted with the residents of the Peddachennayapalem and Nandemmapuram villages. The team in its report said that around 5000 people in the panchayat will be directly affected by the proposed nuclear plant. The people of the villages are dependent on the waters of Bay of Bengal for fishing as all the affected people belong to the fisher folk community. Apart from fishing, the villagers also engage in marginal farming for their survival. The women in the villages work as agricultural labourers and by selling fish in the Kavali, which is the closest marketplace for the villagers.

It is to be noted that the promised fruits of Indian development are yet to reach these villages even after 70 years Indian independence. The villages neither have a PHC nor public transport nor an upper primary school. The implementation of MGNREGA in the villages has a dismal record, with not even 30 workdays being provided across the year as against the stipulated minimum of 100 workdays.

The government has decided to generate 31000 MW of energy through nuclear reactors across the sea coast from Srikakulam district in the north to Nellore district in the South. It has to be noted that of the proposed 60000 MW of Nuclear Energy in India, more than half is being generated in Andhra Pradesh. The reactors which were scheduled to come up in Gujarat and West Bengal are being coerced upon the people of Andhra Pradesh in Kovvada and Kavali. Kavali, which has a population of over 1.25 lakhs is hardly 10 kms from the proposed site.

Many experiences in the past have proved beyond reasonable doubt that nuclear plants are dangerous to the future of humanity as they destruct the environment, land and resources in the vicinity. The nuclear radiation will sustain itself for hundreds of years impacting the lives of people adversely. Even then the Central and State Governments are hell bent on propelling the nuclear plant even after most ‘developed’ countries in the world like Japan and France are dismantling their nuclear reactors.

The people of Peddapattepupalem panchayathy have convened a gram sabha which passed a resolution unanimously rejecting the proposal of the Nuclear Plant in their panchayat. They submitted the same to the Collector. The Government is using all sort of repressive mechanism to pressurize the villagers to give in to the Nuclear Plant. Around 30 acres of Sivai lands which were being cultivated by around 120 families of Nandemmapuram for more than 30 years, were occupied by the Fisheries Department and fenced to stop the villagers from cultivating their lands. The police have been coming to the village and threatening them on the pretext of alleged uprooting of the fence. Today, (20th March, 2017), an auto driver was picked up by the police when he was in Kavali driving his auto for his livelihood.

 

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