PMO blocks fax line to stop petitions

GreenPeace has sent 7,000 fax petitions against nuke liability bill

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Neha Sethi | March 15, 2010



The Prime Minister's Office has apparently blocked faxes coming from GreenPeace after the global NGO helped activists send to the PMO their protest petitions against the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill.

“We have sent 7,000 faxes to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) since Tuesday to protest against the Nuke Bill,” said Vinuta Gopal, climate and energy campaign manager at Greenpeace India.

"We had requested the PMO to respond to the faxes till Thursday. The PMO on Friday responded saying that they acknowledge the faxes but they didn't send a written response. The PMO also communicated their intention to block the line,” added Gopal.

She said they five knew fax numbers of the PMO. “Once we knew that faxes couldn't go through one number, we started trying the others. Some of the faxes were blocked on Saturday even though we kept trying the other numbers,” she said. "We wanted the PMO to respond to the signatures and opinions of around 43,000 people, who had supported our online campaign, but that didn't happen," added Gopal.

The PMO could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, sensing opposition the government finally decided against introducing the bill in Lok Sabha on Monday, as the BJP and the Left parties are also opposed to controversial clauses in it.

The bill provides for neglible amount of compensation to be paid by the foreign supplier of nuclear power plant in case of a mishap .

PTI adds:

An international NGO has launched an online campaign against the nuclear liability bill alleging that the proposed legislation lets US corporations off the hook for any nuclear accidents they may cause on Indian soil.

The online petition posted by GreenPeace alleges that the UPA government is churning out "one hazardous bill after another".

"The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage bill lets US corporations off the hook for any nuclear accidents they cause on Indian soil. They would only have to pay a meagre amount and Indian taxpayers would be stuck paying crores for the nuclear clean up and to compensate the victims," the petition read.

GreenPeace alleged the government was "appeasing American interests and ignoring our safety".

The petition also asked the prime minister to hold a public consultation before a vote on the bill in parliament.

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