Every citizen has a right to clean air and clean source of energy, and the day may not be far when there may be a public demand to bring in a legislation for right to clean air on the same lines as we have a law for Right to Education, Food Security, etc. This was stated here today by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh while inaugurating the 8th Nuclear Energy Conclave organized by India Energy Forum on the theme “Meeting the non-fossil energy targets…”. Among those present on the occasion were former Chairman Atomic Energy Commission and renowned Nuclear Scientist Anil Kakodkar, President “India Energy Forum” Anil Razdan and other eminent scientists.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, as India moves up in the graph of development and growth, not only will its energy needs increase, but there would also be a pressure to opt for cost effective and cleaner source of energy. It is here that, besides solar energy and other sources of green energy, nuclear power will find an important place in our lives, he said. Citing different instances, Dr Jitendra Singh said, he was particularly impressed by the experiment undertaken by Aligarh Muslim University under its Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah, where an exclusive solar plant was set up, which is catering to the entire energy requirements of the University Campus and Departments. He said, in order to promote the optimum use of alternative sources of energy, what is required is the awareness about their diverse applications and modes of utilization.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the decision about nuclear energy has been confined mainly to its destructive power, without realizing the enormous benefit it has provided in the lives of millions of people including those, for example, seeking radiation therapies for medical management and treatment of cancer etc. Similarly, diverse positive benefits of radiation have in recent years enriched our lifestyle and made it easier, he said. Calling for mass awareness programmes, Dr Jitendra Singh suggested that India Energy Forum should try to involve common citizens particularly adolescents and young students to spread the message for expansion of alternative sources of energy. This would also help in allaying fears among the people in different locations where public resistance is faced while setting up new nuclear plants because of certain unfounded apprehensions among the masses, he said.