Open Letter to Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister
KUDANKULAM ANTI-NUCLEAR SATYAGRAHA, INDIA, 20 August 2012
by Dr. S. P. Udayakumar (PMANE) – TRANSCEND Media Service
August 20, 2012
The Honorable Chief Minister
Government of Tamil Nadu
Greetings! As we have completed a whole year struggling against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), we would like to initiate a fresh round of dialogue with you.
As you know, the Government of India and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) have not shared any basic information with us about the KKNPP. Even after the Central Information Commission (CIC) has instructed them, they have not shared the Site Evaluation Report (SER) and the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) with us. They have not heard our opinions or allayed our fears and concerns about the lack of fresh water resources, the changes in the design of the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV), the management of liquid and solid waste and so on.
Neither have they got any liability from the Russian government and/or companies for the KKNPP 1 and 2. The Government of India is not even willing to share the secretive Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) that they signed with the Russian government in 2008. Even as we are dealing with KKNPP 1 and 2, the Government of India is announcing the agreement on KKNPP 3 and 4 with utter disregard for the sentiments of the local people and the people of Tamil Nadu as a whole.
When the Madras High Court is hearing a batch of petitions against the KKNPP, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) gave consent to load fuel rods in the first unit of KKNPP and the Court has condemned this defiant attitude and behavior of AERB and some Congress ministers. It is so depressing and painful to see such contemptuous treatment of not just the people of India but also the Judiciary.
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has also given consent to discharge enormous amounts of sewage, trade effluent, desalination plant effluent, demineralization effluent, steam generator effluent, suspended solids, dissolved solids, and many other waste products into the sea. The TNPCB has fixed the temperature of the effluents at the discharge point as 45 degrees. They have also allowed the KKNPP to release significant amounts of Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, particulate matters and many other harmful radioactive pollutants into the air. Nobody seems to bother about the impact of all these on the sea, sea food, crops, dairy, food security, nutrition, health and wellbeing of us, our children and grandchildren.
We have taken note of your recent letter to the Prime Minister dated August 19, 2012 demanding all the power from KKNPP to Tamil Nadu. Even though you have written twice before on March 31 and April 25 this year, the Prime Minister or his PMO has not even acknowledged your letters. Earlier you had demanded more power from the Central Pool and financial help for various power generation schemes, but the UPA government always ignored your genuine requests and earnest efforts. In fact, most of our pre-March 2012 agitations and processions were in support of your demands and schemes.
If this is the way they treat the Chief Minister of an important State and popular leader of millions of Tamil people, you can possibly imagine the feelings and attitude they may have towards the poorest of the poor who have been struggling on our own for more than a year now. The Delhi elites seem to have scant regards for the Tamil fishermen, Tamil women, and the Tamil people as a whole.
It is also strange that our neighboring states would not share the Nature-given river waters with us but we, the Tamil people, have to suffer nuclear waste, thermal pollution, saline refuse, and most importantly, nuclear radiation and give them all risk-free electricity. It is quite preposterous that the Congress government in Kerala stakes a claim for 500 MW from KKNPP; in fact, the Congress governments in Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram can together decide to set up KKNPP 3-6 somewhere in Kerala. The intelligent people of Kerala would never allow that and the political parties there, whether Congress or Communists or BJP or others, would never let that happen also.
It is we, the Tamil people, who are left high and dry by the so-called ‘Tamizhina Thalaivar’, his party that is part of the UPA and a few other parties in Tamil Nadu. When you assumed power in 2011 and stood up for the popular causes of the Tamil people, we heaved a sigh of relief that we had a leader who understood our needs and wants after all. We were so shocked when you reversed your stand on the KKNPP issue in March 2012.
As we pointed out during our meeting with you in September 2011, India needs a more creative and original energy policy and we, the Tamil people, need to protect the Tamil land, water, air, sea, sea food, natural resources and the future for the Tamil progeny. The UPA government in Delhi is keener and hell-bent on pleasing the foreigners and their MNCs and taking care of their and their friends’ self interests.
Most of the people here in our area have been praying to Our Lady of Lourdes at Idinthakarai and to the Sage Vishwamitra in one of his rarest temples in India near Koodankulam with the solemn hope that these divine forces would save them from nuclear threats to their land and the sea. They believe that from Gorbachev and Rajiv Gandhi who initiated the KKNPP to the Russian engineers and scientists who designed the Koodankulam reactors have met with misfortunes. It is only natural for people to turn to supernatural forces when their political energies are dissipated and actions discouraged by the vested interests.
We would very much like to request you, Madam, to turn the KKNPP into a pro-people and Nature-friendly project, bring about solar power policy and projects all over our State, rectify the transmission and distribution issues, protect the interests of the Tamil people, and leave a wonderful legacy of visionary leadership and compassionate development with the people of Tamil Nadu and India.
Looking forward to your favorable actions, we send you our best personal regards and all peaceful wishes,
The Struggle Committee
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Phone: 98656 83735
S. P. Udayakumar
Fr. F. Jayakumar
M. P. Jesuraj
S.P. Udayakumar, Ph.D. – Tamil Nadu, India:
* SACCER-South Asian Community Center for Education and Research (promoting life-long, life-wide and life-deep education)
* TRANSCEND Network, South Asia Convener (TSA) (For Rethinking South Asia)
* People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
* National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements (NAAM) (For a Nuclear-Free India that has No Deals, No Mines, No Reactors, No Dumps, and No Bombs).
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 United States License.