PRESS RELEASE

Three years after Fukushima, Mithivirdi-Jasapara (Gujarat, India) area as ‘Nuclear Free Zone’

, by Collective

Yesterday on 9 March 2014, Sunday at 5.00 pm. the Sarpanchs (Village Panchayat Head) Mr. Shaktisinh Gohil – Jasapara, Ms. Samuben Dabhi - Mithivirdi, Ms. Vilasba Gohil Mandva, Mr. Pruthvirajsinh Gohil - Khadarpar, Mr. Dayalbhai Jambucha - Paniyali and the members of these Gram Panchayats passed an unanimous resolution announcing Mithivirdi-Jasapara area as ‘Nuclear Free Zone’.

This is the area where the Manmohan-Modi governments have planned in tandem, to set up 6000 mw nuclear power plant spread over 777 hectares of prime agricultural land, against which the local villagers have led a consistent, vocal protest.

The copy of the resolution will be sent to President, Prime Minister, Gujarat Chief Minister and Secretary General, United Nations.

Orchards of mangoes, chikoos, coconut trees, lush greenery, sea and ships passing by, describe aptly the Mithivirdi - Jasapara area in the Talaja block of Bhavnagar district. This lush green area is the irrigated region of Shetrunji dam. In the times when `Special Investment Region’ has become the most lobbied term in the state of Gujarat, then this region too should be announced as SAR (Special Agriculture Region) for agricultural purpose. Situated on the Saurashtra sea coast, one would assum that the land is barren and un-inhabited, but a visit here belies all these assumptions. It is perhaps from this mistaken presumption that the proposal for a 6000 MW nuclear power plant spread over 777 hectares on this green lush land must have taken place.

Presently on this 777 hectare of land spread in Jasapara, Mithivirdi, Khadarpar, Mandva stand 50,000 fruit trees. Also, bajra, cotton, groundnut, onions and other crops are sown year round due to irrigation facilities. This area is therefore aptly called Bhavnagar’s vegetable basket.

A reason, why local villagers who stand to loose not only their land and livelihood but also a potential environmental risk if the nuclear power plant were to come up as the government proposes, are protesting and are resolute in their desire to keep the neighbourhood nuclear power free.

Salient points

1. The production of nuclear weapons or of nuclear power shall not be allowed in the City/Village/Municipality. No facility, equipment, components, supplies or substance used for the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear power shall be allowed in the City/Village/Municipality.

2. No person, corporation, university, laboratory, institution or other entity in the City/Village/Municipality knowingly and intentionally engaged in the production of nuclear weapons or with respect to nuclear electricity generation shall commence any such work within the City/Village/Municipality after adoption of this chapter.

3. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or regulate the research and application of nuclear medicine or the use of fissionable materials for smoke detectors, light-emitting watches and clocks and other applications where the purpose is unrelated to the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear power. Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to infringe upon the rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

4. We are opposed to all aspects and parts of the so-called “nuclear fuel cycle” and expressly forbids the production of nuclear energy, the presence of any equipment and materials related to the carrying out of any part of the fuel cycle and opposes any storage of nuclear waste.


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