National Council Meeting (Raipur-Chhattisgarh), 12th-13th June, 2010

Bhopal Gas Tragedy & the proposed Nuclear Accountability Bill

World recognizes India as a spiritually, ideologically, culturally and materialistically developed nation. Because of imperfect understanding of our politicians, the concept of development is moving into a wrong direction currently. Precisely for these reasons India has become a laboratory for the Western powers (USA etc).

Bhopal gas tragedy victims received neither justice nor adequate compensation. Even the prime accused Warren Anderson, was allowed to honorably and safely leave the country by the then State and Central Government. Such highly sensitive industries susceptible of mass destruction should be classified as special category to ensure that they follow sure to follow safety standards strictly. Otherwise influential guilty are acquitted due to the negligence of the normal law enforcement system.

India is preparing for mass production nuclear energy and for this purpose a large number of nuclear plants will be installed in next twenty years, , Government of India is making a law to ensure accountability of suppliers and operators of these plants. This legislation is the final step towards implementing the nuclear deal with the U.S.. The controversial provisions of the legislation proposed to Parliament are:

1. The bill pegs the maximum amount of liability in case of each nuclear accident at Rs 500 crore only to be paid by the supplier and operator of the Plant while the maximum compensation in U.S. law is nearly 71 billion rupees.
2. No person or institution can go to court but operator can approach it.
3. 31 nuclear plants are to be installed across the country from thinly populated area such as Thar to for the densely populated area like Konkan but no attention has been paid to this for compensation purpose.
4. Compensation clause has no reference to the capacity of the plant. It mentions accident only.
5. Bill does not mention other nuclear accidents the one that took place in Maya Puri area of New Dehli due to radiation of cobalt 60. Scrap that includes radioactive material is imported in large quantity into our country through ports at Chennai, Alang, Kandhla,and Vishakhapatnam.
6. Equipments like Geiger–Müller tube essential to detect particle of ionizing radiation are not installed in any of these ports. India imports scrap worth 2.5 million dollars from Europe alone.
7. Nuclear residue (ash) after generation of power is reported to be buried underground. Will this be safe for future generations? Will this not prove suicidal for our Agriculture? Can we put our Agriculture on for a few units of power, as remanantsof the nuclear particles will remain in the environment?
After a thorough discussion on all these points mentioned above and keeping in view the gravity of the issue.

SJM National Council at Raipur resolves that:
1. Government of India should not take any decision in haste & given the enormity of the subject matter leading experts must be included in the parliamentary committee.
2. Suppliers along with operators should be equally liable for punishment, if the supplier is rescued then numerous Anderson will be produced.
3. Individual and the institution should have the right to go to court for compensation.
4. A system must be put in place to ensure that there are no adverse affect on the fertility of Land and on ground water.
5. For strict compliance with safety standards collaboration of subject experts with bureaucracy should be ensured.
6. In case of dispute the court’s decision should come in a maximum 5 years.