India should be cautious on N-plants' location, says expert

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 18, 2011 Published on March 18, 2011

India should not take the risk of multiplying nuclear plants as 75 per cent of its population was in the ‘vulnerable' bracket, warned an expert here on Friday.

At a conference on ‘Cross Sectoral Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction', organised by USAID and Project Concern International, Ms Anu Kapur, Associate Professor, Geography, Delhi School of Economics, said that Japan was facing a greater risk from the nuclear fallout from the Fukushima plant than from the quake and tsunami, for which it was better prepared.

Calling for a rethink by India on the location of the nuclear plant in Jaitapur, Ms Kapur said that with a huge population and a large section of it ‘vulnerable', we may be taking a big risk by going ahead with the plan.

Slamming the mindset in Government that blamed natural phenomena rather than policies that have led to a large section of the population being vulnerable even after over 60 years of Independence, Ms Kapur said this was one reason why the country on an average spent Rs 900 crore a year on disaster-related matters.

“The shame and pain is that we have people dying each year of cold waves, heat waves, rains or no rains. We are not even prepared to handle these,'' she said.

Ms Kapur said there was need to narrow the ‘disaster divide' by making disaster management a part of the planning process, as a huge section of the population was still poor and illiterate, deprived of basic services and pucca houses to live in.

The conference was attended by representatives of the National Disaster Management Association, NGOs and experts.

Published on March 18, 2011
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