‘Change Land Acquisition Act for N-power progress’

Its imperative to replace the old-era Land Acquisition Act to address the country`s energy needs, MR Srinivasan said.

Mumbai: India should move on to make nuclear
energy as safe as possible by taking lessons from the recent
Fukushima accident but its imperative to replace the old-era
Land Acquisition Act with a more balanced one, to address the
country`s present huge infrastructure and energy needs, former
Atomic Energy Commission Chairman MR Srinivasan said here.

Stating that the resettlement was equally significant
in any infrastructure project, he said India`s record of
resettling project-affected people has been "pathetic".

Srinivasan, currently a member of AEC, was delivering the
first Homi Sethna Memorial lecture on `Future of Nuclear Power
after Fukushima,` at the Nehru Centre here last evening.

He said non-pursuance of nuclear energy option by India
would only increase its fossil fuel burning and carbon
emissions and continuing dependence on hydro-carbon imports in
a market of dwindling supply and rising prices.

"All lessons must be learnt from the Fukushima accident
and we must move on to make nuclear energy as safe as humanly
possible and to give up the nuclear power option now will make
the task of growing our economy to be able to overcome poverty
and under development, even more difficult," Srinivasan said.

On the proposed nuclear plant at Jaitapur, he said
Maharashtra needs new generation capacity to meet its
increasing demands from industry, agriculture and domestic
sectors. He assured that would be no effluents which could
affect the mango orchards or the fishing activity nearby.

"We have actual experience at Tarapur and Kalpakkam and
at neither of these places has there been an adverse impact on
marine life. Similarly Kakrapar and Kaiga, both in the Western
Ghats have shown that the ecology of the area is unaffected.
The question of compensation for lands that are acquired is a
matter that has to be decided by state government," he said.

But replacement of Land Acquisition Act of the British
period is important, with a more balanced one that takes note
of present conditions, if the Centre is serious about India`s
huge infrastructure projects which requires a lot of power, he