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Anti-nuke rally to mark Chernobyl's 26th anniversary

India,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Immigration/Law/Rights, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Hundreds of people are likely to take part in a three-km long march here Thursday evening to mark the 26th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, Ukraine.


The march, organised by eight anti-nuclear and environmental groups under the umbrella of Konkan Bachao Samiti (KBS), an NGO, will start from Holi ground in Dharavi and culminate at Sion Station in central Mumbai.


For the last two years, the KBS has been spearheading the agitation against the proposed nuclear power plant coming up at Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district, around 250 km south of Mumbai.


"Through the march on the anniversary of Chernobyl disaster, we will highlight public concerns over the issue, especially since several countries have now moved away from nuclear power to renewable sources of power", said Arun Velaskar, a KBS member.


The catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on April 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine had rendered a vast area equal to half of Ratnagiri district uninhabitable and an area equal to one-third of Maharashtra unfit for any agriculture activities, he said.


Following last year's Fukushima nuclear accident, vast areas of Japan are now contaminated with radioactivity, prompting that country to shut down majority of its nuclear reactors.


Velaskar said several countries, including Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Venezuela have either decided to phase out their existing nuclear plants or abandon future nuclear programmes.


"Despite all scientific facts and public opinion, our government continues to pursue the nuclear programme," he said.


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