Will any government chose a project which is detrimental to the life of its citizens and property ?. Is it not the duty of the citizen of a country to co-operate and support the government to plan their project for the development of a nation?
Having this in mind this article is written about the ongoing struggle at Koodankulam nuclear plant. India is the second large populated country in this world and has a very few nuclear plants for generating power for electricity. It is said that there are more than 400 nuclear plants functioning all over the world without any problem to the human life. All nuclear plants set up to generate power in India are also functioning very satisfactorily. There had been no casualty or accident reported since their installation. While it is so, why the people around Koodankulam town are protesting against the prestigious nuclear project of Tamilnadu.
Where is Koodankulam and the nuclear Project
Koodankulam is an rural area in the outskirts of Tirunelveli district on the sea shore of Arabian sea was chosen to set up a nuclear energy project in the eighties, during the regime of Rajiv Gandhi. A vast area of land was acquired from the public, who whole heartedly welcomed this project and gave away their lands and stood by for construction of this dream project. A sum of Rs. 14000 has been spent for this project. The Koodankulam village has been turned into a flourishing model town in the district of Tirunelveli,
Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu has no major industries or factories or any other manufacturing units. Though there are infrastructures available , the district has not developed. Therefore, the nuclear power project appeared to be a big project and a boon to the people of Tirunelveli. This is the second nuclear power project in Tamilnadu after the Kalpakkam nuclear power project.
The area around koodankulam is of 28 villages, out of which only 8 villagers belonging to the fishing colonies near to Koodankulam are the main protestors, while other 22 villagers welcome this project. It is the people of Idinthakarai which is the chief fishing village very close to Koodankulam to protest against this nuclear project.
Why do they protest against this nuclear project.
They say that the waste materials or the water used for this project is disposed off in to the sea which affects the growth of the marine life that affects the earning of the fishermen who have their livelihood mainly based on fishing.
The nuclear plant is likely to emit atomic rays which will affect the human and cause deceases like cancer.
In the event of any natural calamities like Tsunami or earthquake, the nuclear plant is likely to get affected and cause grave damage to the people living in and around Koodankulam. They quote the recent Earthquake and Tsunami at Japan which has created problem in the nuclear power plant.
Is their protest against Koodankulam nuclear plant justified
No. Disposal of water used to cool down the nuclear power plant into the sea will not affect the marine life. Disposal of the material used inside the plant will be disposed of very deep into the sea far away from the shore or buried safely on to the earth at very deep depths.
There is no chance of atomic rays spreading around as the construction of walls are very strong with effective cooling arrangements outside the plant. And such rays do not cause deceases like cancer.
There is no chance of Tsunami attack anticipated at Koodankulam as the area is safe from Tsunami attacks. Geographically Koodankulam does not fall in the Tsunami belt. This is evident from the 2004 Tsunami, when the sea coast of Nagapattinam was attacked severely, there was no much effect of the attack in the shore lying from Rameshwaram to Kanyakumari. Only the abnormal neap and ebb tide of the sea was experienced. The construction is so strong that it can withstand any earthquake.
Then why do the people of Koodankulam protest against Nuclear plant
It is the ignorance of the people and the inefficiency of the government to convince the protestors about the safety of the nuclear power plant. Also it is the encouragement of politicians who sit in the opposite benches in the government to seek votes on the pretext of their support to their protest.
Solution to overcome the problem and make the Koodankulam project operational
The central government has already formed a committee consisting of all experts on various fields of nuclear technology to look into the safety aspects of the project . The state government also has formed a committee. The protestors also teamed up with a committee. The committee will meet and discuss various issues pertaining to this nuclear power plant and come to a final solution.
Visit of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and his opinion
The ex president of India and a Nuclear scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam visited the site on his personal interest . He had discussion with the high officials of this project. He personally went into the site area and seen the set up of the plant . He has declared that the site is very safe and fit to put into use. Also he has recommended that the area should be improved with more welfare activities for the public such as educational institutions, medical facilities, transportation facilities and employment to the villagers in large scale.
What do the other people of Tamilnadu think about this protest and the project
Most of the Tamilinadu public feels that the project should be put into use to generate electricity to overcome power crisis in Tamilnadu . There are many oraganisations who protest against the protestors, and favour the project.
Will the protestors will be convinced about the safety of the Nuclear Plant.
Yes. We all hope that the committees formed by the centre, state and the protestors will discuss the issue at length and the protestors will be convinced to end their protest and support this project. And the government and people should consider and respect the words of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for his safety declaration and remarks for improvement of the Koodankulam region . Government should go all out for the betterment of the people around the Koodankulam area.
The life is to live with risk. Without risk life is not joyful. We had a great transition from stone age to this present technological age. Science is a boon for both creation and destruction. It is upto us how good we make use of our science to benefit ourselves. There should be no fear of life. The destiny of the world and its people cannot be changed. We cannot fight against the natures. We cannot fight against the five great powers; the land, the fire, the water, the air and the sky. We are born to die. Be ready to accept the challenges in life. If we have no fear of life, life will be peaceful on this lovely earth.
Let us remember " Government is of the people, by the people, for the people". The good and bad of a country lies in the government of that country. Let us not oppose the government, but support the government to wards the progress and development of our motherland.
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