New Delhi: A Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday
discussed the controversial Nuclear Liability Bill which has
come under focus in the wake of the court verdict in the
Bhopal gas tragedy.
During the first meeting of the Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Science and Environment on the Nuclear Liability
Bill, its members raised questions over the Rs 500 crore cap
proposed on compensation to be paid by the operator in the
event of an accident involving an atomic plant.
Officials representing the Science and Technology Ministry
explained the reasoning for specifying the "cap" of liability,
arguing that it was necessary for the operating company to
take insurance cover.
The government has already expressed willingness to make
changes in the bill if the Standing Committee so suggests.
Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who is
in-charge of Department of Atomic Energy, had said the
government was ready to "look into" any genuine issues that
may be raised with regard to the nuclear bill.
Sources said the government could itself bring about
certain changes in some clauses of the bill while it goes
through the Standing Committee process.
Chavan underlined the need for Liability Act, arguing that
the country lacks a law under which compensation could be
awarded in the case of a nuclear accident.
This is particularly important considering the fact that
India is gearing up for a massive expansion of its
nuclear-power sector and is in talks with US, Russia and
France for setting of their reactors here.
Main opposition BJP apprehends that through the
legislation, the government is trying to enable foreign
private companies to enter India`s nuclear market.