FATEHABAD: Two anti-nuclear groups with separate list of demands have started protests against the proposed nuclear power plant at Gorakhpur village in Haryana. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone of the plant on Monday.
Members of the Parmanu Virodhi Morcha, a coalition of anti-nuclear energy NGOs, held a protest march against land acquisition by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) while members of the Akhil Bharatiya Bishnoi Jeev Raksha Samiti staged protests on environmental issues.
Parmanu Virodhi Morcha president Subhash Punia said, “We are seeking support of former Army chief VK Singh and others. Political leaders from Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) have also assured us of support.”
Akhil Bharatiya Bishnoi Jeev Raksha Samiti members claim the Badopal area, where NPCIL has acquired 125 acres of land, was originally meant for residential purposes. “In a recent reconnaissance conducted on the township site, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun observed that the land acquired by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India is a natural habitat for Blackbucks and Blue Bulls. The WII recommended that the project township be moved elsewhere and the area under preview be set aside as a wildlife reserve,” said Samiti member Vinod Karwasra.
The Parmanu Virodhi Morcha president accused the government of putting people’s lives at risk with their dependence on canal water. “The main problem NPCIL will face is water. They (NPCIL) are totally depending on canal water and a nuclear power plant requires huge amounts of fresh water to keep the power plant cool. Totally depending on canal water is not right. We will protest till the government accepts our demands to close the power plant as soon as possible,” said Punia.