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Greenpeace on Nuclear Liability Bill: Drop it

March 12, 2010 16:38 IST
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Greenpeace has urged Members of Parliament and people from across the political spectrum to unite and reject the Civil Liabilities for Nuclear Damage Bill 2009, which the government introduced in Parliament earlier this week, amidst bedlam over women's reservation bill.

According to Karuna Raina, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Greenpeace, the bill limits the damage liability of the operator and the supplier.

"Our people expect better from their leaders who conspire to peg the life of an Indian citizen at less than what victims of the Bhopal Gas tragedy got 20 years ago, which in itself was a miscarriage of justice" Karuna said.

"We have written to all 795 MPs alerting them to the fact that the bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha in this budget session not only allows US companies to go scot free in case of a nuclear mishap but also uses Indian taxpayers money to pay for the damages. Having lived through the trauma of Bhopal only a leader with a dead conscience will even consider the bill. Our message to the lawmakers in Parliament is clear. 'Drop the bill'."

The clause to cap the liability of the operator to Rs 2,385 crore (when in the US the Liability is $10 billion or Rs 46,000 crore) is glaring and any legislation that attempts to impose a cap on liability, dilute the polluter pays and the precautionary principle will be in blatant defiance of Supreme Court judgments and should be struck down, she added.

Greenpeace has also launched a petition addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which the organisation claims has been signed by over 21,000 people.

If you share Greenpeace's concern over the issue, click here to sign the petition (external link)
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