Defending the setting up of nuclear power plant in Fatehabad district, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday said the nation needed nuclear plants to meet the growing power shortage.
“Power is the wheel of development. Such crisis as the recent power grid collapse and depleting coal reserves are reasons enough for us to go for nuclear energy,” he said during an interaction with Hindustan Times staffers at the Leaderspeak@HT programme.
Hooda was replying to a question on the protracted agitation by farmers whose land has been acquired for the region’s first 2,800-MW nuclear power project as well as the growing chorus against the plant by the opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC). Two days ago, former army chief Gen VK Singh (retd) lent his support to the farmers’ protests and termed the idea to set up a nuclear power plant “ foolish”.
Hooda pooh-poohed the INLD and the HJC for opposing the N-power project and produced official documents to rub the point that their leaders (Devi Lal and Bhajan Lal) had written letters in the past to the Centre in support of the plant.
Asked about the impact of the Maruti plant violence on investors’ confidence, the CM said this was not an incident of labour unrest. “ Maybe it was a planned act, but let the special investigation team (SIT) report come,” he added. Hooda, however, was non-committal on the Centre’s proposed move to put river waters on the concurrent list.