'Atomic energy dept’s response half-hearted' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'Atomic energy dept’s response half-hearted'

mumbai Updated: May 21, 2011 01:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Retired chief justice AP Shah on Friday slammed the atomic energy establishment, saying that the government officials concerned were not “ready to face cross-examination” and that their response to the people’s tribunal has been a “half-hearted approach.”

“There are written submissions. But strangely no one is appearing before the tribunal and making themselves available to answer objections raised here,” said former justice Shah on the second day of the tribunal set up to record views on nuclear power and the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in Ratnagiri district.

On Friday, the commission got several documents related to radiation safety, including an EIA (environment impact assessment) and one on the benefits and misconceptions of the Jaitapur plant, from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and the Department of Atomic Energy.

The previous day, the two-member commission comprising Shah and retired justice SD Pandit received a written deposition from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Shah insisted that apart from a discussion on safety protocols in nuclear plants and that committees met often to review them, the document did not address any issues raised by the tribunal.

Shah has asked nuclear experts to examine and review all the documents and submit their observations to the tribunal. “Tell us what was not considered in the EIA. What was not considered is an important aspect,” he said.

Some of the 20 locals from Sakhri Nate, the village where Tabrez Sayekar, 30, was killed in a police firing last month, deposed before the panel, and will hand over bullets found inside a house as evidence. “The police beat women with lathis, pelted stones inside houses and opened firing,” said Begum Barkat Husiye.

The commission has stated that it intends to visit the villages affected by the project and record grievances regarding the police repression.