People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 26

June 27, 2010



‘Standing Committee Ignores Labour Viewpoint’


CITU secretary and former Rajya Sabha member Dipankar Mukherjee sent on June 19 the following letter to the Rajya Sabha chairman regarding examination of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 by the Standing Committee on Science and Technology.


I SEEK your indulgence in inviting your kind attention to the following in regard to the above subject.


1) There has been no notification in the press by the Rajya Sabha secretariat seeking presentations from the people at large to give evidence before the honourable committee on the subject which is of vital public interest.


2) As you will kindly appreciate, the workers engaged in the nuclear plants and facilities as well as those handling radioactive materials directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly, are the first victims of the radiation. Even recently in the Mayapuri area of New Delhi, some workers/employees were affected by nuclear radiations and the ad hoc compensation paid was seriously questioned by the trade unions. It is therefore very unfortunate that the honourable committee has not deemed it necessary to call the central trade unions till date for giving their views/evidence before the committee on the bill.


3) On the contrary, the honourable committee has felt it prudent to call industry associations like the FICCI and CII from private sector for giving evidence though at present the nuclear power plants and facilities in India are owned by the government of India or its public sector undertakings as per the Atomic Energy Act 1962.


You will kindly agree that such selective choice by the honourable committee, giving precedence to the private sector industry which does not have any stake in nuclear plants and facilities in India, and ignoring the employees who are directly involved, in the deliberations of the honourable committee will give a very wrong message as if “Labour is not on the agenda of the nation.”


I therefore appeal to you to advise the committee accordingly so that the voice of millions of workers of the country is not ignored.