Society for People’s Advancement Technology & Heritage

(Registered under the Societies Registration Act 1861)

275, Sector-2, HUDA, Rohtak-124 001

Press Note Find alternate site for nuclear power plant near Gorakhpur in Fatehabad
Rohtak, 13 Jan. - The trouble that has been brewing in group of villages around Gorakhpur in Dist. Fatehabad ever since the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) has announced the acquisition of land for raising a nuclear power plant of 2800 MW capacity is actually manifold in nature. Its sociological, economical, environmental and scientific aspects have to be examined in detail and publically debated before the start of the fundamental exercise to establish a NP Plant in the vicinity of the populated villages which have been living there in peace for many centuries. It is surprising that several scientific departments and organization such as the two universities, HARSAC and other institutions of Central and State Govts. located at Hisar have become mere spectators and considered that there was no worthwhile role for them to intervene? It is presumed that the geophysical features of the land comprising the four villages – Badopal, Kajalheri, Kumharia and Gorakhpur and the availability of water from Fatehabad branch of canal were taken into account before the land was selected by NPCIL and an announcement made to this effect. Obviously, there was also a political push to this project. It is well known that without electric power the society cannot move forward nowadays. The future is bleak and the people are left defenseless and meek in the absence of regular power supply. Earlier, there were violent agitations in the area for non-supply of electric power. The theft of electric power from supply lines is rampant and the bills are not regularly paid. A super thermal power plant cannot be established here as it may cause huge amount of pollution – a situation that can be assessed by studies done about the Thermal Power Plant located near Panipat. The fear of the residents of the above villages towards nuclear power plants that it will spew out hazardous radioactive gases and emit radiation are unfounded as the nuclear power plant is the cleanest and most reliable source of electric energy. Its core-container is very robust and the alloy materials used do not corrode easily. We never had any major mishap in our nuclear power plants in India. Our engineers are the best in the world. Our safety records are excellent in the world that are regularly monitored by International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (IAEA) as can be exemplified from the early history of Narora Atomic Power Station in Bulandshahr district of UP that was situated on the bank of the river Ganges way back in late nineteen seventies and against the establishment of which Dr. Dhirendra Sharma, the then Professor, Center for Science Policy in JNU had conducted a long lasting agitation. The only concern of the villagers around Gorakhpur is that the land is fertile and irrigated which they have owned for many generations and are emotionally

attached to it. The recent Govt. decision may dislocate them. They need to be told that sacrifices have to be made. In this regard the NPCIL and the Govt. of Haryana have done neither a good public relations exercise to convince the people that the nuclear power plant is the best option nor taken them into confidence as to how the change that it would bring in their lifestyles has to be tackled on sociological and emotional fronts. It is because lack of information that the agitation and picketing was started. There was hardly a need for it had the concerned authorities provided logical information to District Public Relations Unit to dissipate fears. Because of the geophysical features, there are alternative sites in the Mahendragarh district that have also to be examined in the meantime. Why an exclusive pipeline to supply Himalayan water cannot be laid if the Nuclear Plant is located somewhere in the Aravallis in Mahendragarh district. What use are our satellite surveys and observations if we cannot find a proper site for nuclear power plant by using the imageries and ground penetrating radars? Ranbir Singh President