Seminar and protest meeting against nuclear power plant at Madban, Ratnagiri

Lokayat in association with various groups of Ratnagiri-Sindhdurg and NAAM, organises:


Protest Meeting and All-India Seminar against Nuclear Plant and thermal power projects coming up in Ratnagiri and Sindhdurg Districts

Venue: Ratnagiri
Dates: 23-24 November 2009 (Monday, Tuesday)

Dear all,

The government of India is embracing nuclear power in a big way. It is planning a quantum jump in nuclear power generation, from 4120 MW at present to 63,000 MW by 2032. As a part of this expansion program, it is setting up a NPP at Madban (near Jaitapur, Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra) of 10,000 MW. The process has reached an advanced stage. Land acquisition notices have been served on the local people. The people have launched an agitation to oppose the project. The project wil destoy their health and livelihoods, not just for this generation, but till eternity. A Nuclear power plant emits deathly radiation which causes cancer, birth defects, sterility and other terrible diseases, not just in this generation, but for thousands of years, as the radioactive particles released into the atmosphere have very long lives. This is the reason why governments in many countries are phasing out nuclear power plants, and the US and many European countries have not built a nuclear plant for the last 30 years.

Various activist groups from all over the country who are agitating against nuclear energy had organised a seminar and rally in Delhi on Oct 1-2 this year, under the banner of National Alliance of Anti-nuclear movements. Lokayat was one of the participants. In this seminar, it was decided to organise protests at all places whereever the govt is proposing to set up these deathly projects and help the local people in their struggles in whatever way possible.

As a part of this plan, Lokayat is taking the initiative to organise a protest public meeting at Madban, the site of the proposed nuclear plant, followed by an all-India seminar at Ratnagiri, on 23 and 24 of this month. These would be all-India programs, with activists from various groups affiliated to NAAM participating in the protest meeting and seminar. Other progressive groups have also agreed to support the initiative and are joining us in the seminar and also helping us in organising the same. This includes the anti-SEZ forum of N. D. Patil, Medha Patkar, Ulka Mahajan and others, and Yusuf Meharally Centre of Mumbai.

A heartwarming development is that a number of groups in Ratnagiri and Sindhdurg districts have agreed to take the local responsibility for organising the seminar. These groups are fighting the plans announced by the govt to set up a series of projects all along the Konkan coast, mainly two coal mining projects and quite a many thermal power projects, which cumulatively, because they are coming up so near to each other, will destroy the beautiful environment of the area,  and destroy the livelihoods of the people. The local economy is totally dependent on fisheries, mango and cashew plantations, and all these will be devastated by these projects.

We invite you to participate in this public meeting and seminar. Participants will have to bear their travel expenses to Ratnagiri. After that, we take responsibility. We are making the stay and food arrangements at Ratnagiri, and will take all the participants to Madban for the public meeting and bring them back in late evening.

Do let us know if you would like to join us for this important protest.

Detailed program:

November 23, Monday: Public Meeting at Madban, near Ratnagiri
Time: 2 pm onwards

November 24, Tuesday: All-India seminar at Ratnagiri
Venue: Nagar Vachanalaya, Ratnagiri
Time: 10 am – 5 pm

We will pick up the participants from bus stand, or railway station, and take them to the place where we are making the lodging-boarding arrangements.

APPEAL FOR FUNDS

The total expenses for this seminar are going to be roughly Rs. 40,000. We call upon all of you, even if you cannot come to the program, to volunteer your contributions to support this program which is being organised to support the fighting people of Ratnagiri and Sindhdurg districts. Nuclear energy is deadly, if there is an accident at Madban, Pune will be affected. The entire plan of the goverment of India is diabolical, it is unimaginable how we can go in for NPPs whose life is for 40 years but whose deadly health and environmental effects will last for thousands of years. How can we do this to our coming generations? So join us in this struggle, at least with your financial contributions.

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