Sonia urged to stop new n-plants, evolve energy policy


New Delhi: Social activist Aruna Roy has urged Congress chief and National Advisory Council chairperson Sonia Gandhi to ask the government to stop new nuclear power projects and evolve a comprehensive energy policy, with comparative studies of different non-conventional and conventional energy systems.

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“I strongly feel the government should stop the installation and commission of new projects of nuclear energy,” Roy said in her letter to Gandhi.

“The government should evolve a comprehensive energy policy which would include a comparative study of the costs of different systems of non-conventional and conventional energy, and place this in the public domain,” said Roy, also a NAC member, Thursday after her visit to the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu.

Roy, who met the local residents in Kudankulam, said: “All of them expressed their anguish and dismay at the government’s insistence on going ahead with the plant, turning a deaf ear to their legitimate concerns of safety and survival.”

Stating the process of generating nuclear power should be completely transparent, the activist said the government should initiate a dialogue with the locals.

It should also refrain from all excesses, including the blatant misuse of law on people agitating peacefully – false cases, cancelling passports and registration of organisations, restricting physical movement, and draconian measures to dispel dissent and difference of opinion.

“If these and other nuclear installations are for energy alone, why should information related to safety, production, and efficiency be withheld under the pretext of security,” asked Roy in her letter.