Nuclear Power Usurps Farmers’ Land

In Haryana, the government is trying to seize 1500 acres of  fertile land to build a nuclear power plant. Three years ago, without any prior consultation, the atomic energy Department noticed the farmers of Gorakhpur village, Haryana, that a nuclear power plant will be built on this plot. According to the government, there is no fertile land in the village. But farmers say that they are harvesting three crops in a year. In the video, Satyawan has also shown fields with growing paddy. This land is actually irrigated and cultivable, and it constitutes the only source of livelihoods for numerous farmers. But due to embezzlement, the land has been registered as infertile, thus allowing the government to seize it for its own purpose. The farmers have been offered money for their lands – far below the actual market price -, but no proper plan for relocation has been offered to them. In a highly industrialized region such as Haryana, most of them are unlikely to be able to buy a new plot. Besides, the villagers have not informed of the actual risks that they would run if the nuclear plant is constructed. “Some scientists came one year and a half ago. They just told the villagers that they would get electricity thanks to the power plant.” For the past 6 months, the government started to pressure the villagers to abandon their lands. But the farmers have decided to fight back. They installed a tent in front of the District administrative office, where they are organising sit-in protests. “People are fighting for very long, it is very tough for them. A man was so exhausted that he had a heart attack during one of the meeting and died,” says Satyawan Hopefully, things will have started changing in the last weeks. The nuclear catastrophe in Japan has been a shock all over the world. In the nearby district, people have started organizing rallies in support of the farmers. Satyawan hopes, his video will also give the courage to the farmers to continue, and voice their issues outside Haryana.

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