Kids take out rally against nuke plant

Fishermen’s children from the coastal villages of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts, who took out a protest rally against the Koodankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP) at Koodankulam on Monday, in an open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, charged his government with putting the interests of multinational corporations and foreign governments ahead of the needs and wants of Indian citizens, especially children.

The letter, circulated to the media by the people’s movement against nuclear energy, alleged that the Union government was deliberately keeping people in the dark about the civil nuclear establishment by not giving details of the radioactive nuclear waste management plan, the cost and impact of decommissioning the Koodankulam plant, fresh water needs and supply, impact of the nuclear plant on the health and well-being of the locals and the damage expected to be caused to the sea and seafood.

The children also alleged that the Centre was going against the welfare of Indian citizens at Koodankulam by secretly signing an inter-governmental agreement with Russia on liability exemption for the Russian company supplying nuclear equipment to KKNPP.

Reminding that no public hearing was held before setting up the first of the two reactors at Koodankulam, the fishermen children questioned the moral legitimacy of the Union government to jeopardise the livelihood of the entire fisher community in the region to get electricity for just 30-40 years.

The children concluded the letter by pleading with the Prime Minister to give them their due respect and scrap the project. They wanted him to offer all possible help and cooperation to Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa to protect the fishing rights and security of Indian fishermen, to overcome the present financial crisis in the state and revive power utilities as explained by her in the memorandum presented to the Prime Minister on December 25.

At the end of the rally, the children and their parents paid homage to tsunami victims by pouring milk into the sea at Idinthakarai.

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