Koodankulam – Update and Alert

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Some 10 people including Struggle Committee members Adv. S. Sivasubramanian, Rajalingom from Koodankulam have been arrested.

The Tamil Nadu State government is increasing the police strength in front of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Heavy police force has been posted in a few major junctions around Koodankulam. The ADGP (Additional Director
General of Police) three DIGs (Deputy Inspector Generals) and ten SPs (Superintendents of Police) are present at Koodankulam. The Tirunelveli District Collector has been inviting us (specifically five people, S.P. Udayakumar, M. Pushparayan,M.P. Jesuraj, S. Sivasubramanian, and Fr. F. Jayakumar) since last evening to get some clarifications on the petition we had given to the Chief Minister on February 29, 2012. We pointed out that only our experts could answer those questions. It is pertinent to note that no attempt has been made so far to talk to them by the central or state governments or the expert teams constituted by
these governments. In the meantime, the State government’s cabinet is meeting at 12:30 PM and they are expected to announce their stand on the KKNPP issue.

There are rumors that we all could be arrested soon and they may decide to re-start the KKNPP. WE ARE READY! We have a few specific issues we want you to know about though:

[1] The Government of India, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), and the KKNPP have not conducted any emergency preparation drills or evacuation exercises to prepare the people
within 30 km radius for any possible nuclear disasters. If these authorities try to load nuclear fuel rods without doing these mandatory exercises, it would be deemed illegal by India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) rules, IAEA’s
and other international stipulations. These authorities should reveal to the world the complete and exhaustive details of these exercises if they had conducted them. The date, time, place, location, and the names of the participants of all these exercises should be revealed by these authorities in concurrence with the District Collector of Tirunelveli.

[2] The Government of India and the State Government of Tamil Nadu should consult our experts and study their findings with the help of Indian and international experts if they care for the lives of Indian citizens and not for the profits of Russian corporations.

[3] If the KKNPP reactors are the best in the whole world, why doesn’t Russia want to give any liability to the people? Why do they sign a secretive IGA (Inter-Governmental Agreement) with the Government of India and hide behind such moves and avoid the whole issue of liability?

The tension is increasing; the government are acting in a high-handed manner. Please keep an eye on us.

S. P.Udayakumar
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy

S.P. Udayakumar, Ph.D.
* People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
* National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements (NAAM)
(For a Nuclear-Free India that has
No Deals, No Mines, No Reactors, No Dumps, and No Bombs)
Mobile: 91-98656-83735
Email: drspudayakumar@yahoo.com, spudayakumar@gmail.com

Privatisation of radiological services opposed

Ananya Banerjee : Mumbai, Mon Mar 19 2012,

The decision of the state government to privatise radiology services in 14 government medical colleges and all district hospitals in the state has not gone down well with the healthcare professionals, trade unions and NGOs.

At a state-level convention held on Saturday, members of these organisations have unanimously opposed the move expressing their fear of further privatisation of the public health sector.

“Following the Seven-Hills debacle, the state government should have known better than to involve the private sector into the public domain. What the government is calling a Public Private Partnership (PPP) is actually a back door entry for private organisations. There is no need for PPP if the existing public health system can be strengthened,” said activist Kamyani Bali Mahabal.

While announcing the move to privatise the radiology services a few months ago, additional chief secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia had said that government hospitals had been unable to run efficiently due to the lack of competent staff. Paucity of funds was also stated as one of the reasons for the privatisation.

“There are hospitals in the public sector like Bhabha Hospital in Mumbai and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi which are functioning smoothly. Once the staff is sufficiently trained, better treatment can be provided. As far as funds go, if the state government puts forth a planned proposal to the Centre seeking funds for the health care, then there will be no need to resort to privatisation,” said Dr Anant Phadke, member of the Jan Aarogya Abhiyan.

A petition having the signatures of 171 people from across Maharashtra has been sent to Vijay Kumar Gavit, Maharashtra health and education minister, seeking a withdrawal of the proposal.

However, there are those working within the public sector who feel that privatisation will help in boosting the quality of treatment in public hospitals.

“ Most of the public hospitals are understaffed. Technicians have to be trained separately to operate MRI and CT scan machines. If trained personnel are deployed to operate the machines, it will lead to better utilisation of manpower,” said a senior doctor from JJ Hospital.

“Machines worth crores have been sold off as scrap as no one knows how to use them. If trained people provide services, the quality of treatment will improve,” another doctor from JJ Hospital said.


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