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Nuclear deal will meet energy needs

I read H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial, “India must not go back on nuclear deal” (June 20). Our national image will get sullied if we renege on an important agreement with the US. It will also hinder industrial growth due to acute energy shortage. On the economic front, India is on takeoff stage and we must keep pace with the world.

Compared to other sources, atomic energy can be made available in abundance without any damage to the environment. After a decade or so, we might not beg nuclear fuel from the US and other NSG member countries, if we remain on course to develop thorium-based reactors and exploit the already identified and estimated sources of uranium lying untapped due to indecision of the powers that be. India has 30 per cent of world’s total reserve of thorium.

In the backdrop of our energy needs, we must clinch this deal fast. If the UPA government musters courage to push the deal, its credibility will go up.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala



While India’s current power generation is 127 gigawatts (GW), nuclear power contributes 4000 MW; this may be increased to 337 GW by 2016-17. The country is now reeling under an acute power shortage of 70,000 MW. Thus, is nuclear energy expansion the only best option? Compared with coal, nuclear power will be one-and-a-half times costlier and twice as expensive as gas. Same is the case with hydro-electricity. The tapping of such huge potential will augment our energy capacity at half the cost of nuclear energy.

As for hydro-electricity, despite the potential of nearly 150 GW, only 33 GW has been installed by 2006. Thus, the deal won’t help augment our energy resources. A few nuclear scientists have already voiced concern about it. How can the Centre impose an unfair and unequal deal on the nation? Is it trying to bolster the US’ economic interests?

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh


France gets 80 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power. It is 90 per cent in case of Finland. As coal has an ash content of over 40 per cent plus the big pollution problem, India has no alternative than to go ahead with the nuclear deal. Let us not bother about the Communists who are pathologically allergic to the US. Let us think about our national interest.



The Left’s rigidity on the deal is surprising. Had their logic been sound, the Prime Minister himself would have conceded to let the deal die down. Sadly, some UPA partners seem reluctant to rally behind the Prime Minister. While most ministers and allies don’t want mid-term poll, Dr Manmohan Singh is bracing up to operationalise the deal, save his government in the event of the Left’s threat to withdraw support and avoid early elections.

Governments may come and go but it is rarely that opportunities are wrested to make history.

Lt-Col BACHITTAR SINGH (retd), Mohali


In a coalition like the UPA, one can’t satisfy every ally. The CPM’s stand on the nuclear deal is deplorable because it has always been trying to extract its pound of flesh whenever its support is sought.

India’s energy needs are soaring day by day. Our conventional sources of energy like hydro-electric dams and thermal plants are unable to meet the energy requirement. Our rivers are drying up due to scanty rains; coal reserves too are meagre. So the nuclear agreement is the only answer, but the CPM’s obstinate attitude is stalling the UPA government in its track.

As the Bush administration is on its last leg, time is too short. The Congress has the last chance to redeem its otherwise sagging image by signing the deal.



We should not play dirty politics on the nuclear deal. Critics of the deal should visit the countryside where power is not available for days and people are living at the mercy of the Almighty.

Our political leaders play politics from their air-conditioned homes while our nuclear and thermal reactors are on the verge of collapse. If the nuclear deal is not operationalised fast, the nation has to pay a heavy price.



The deal will yield rich dividends for the country and the Left leaders out to behave responsibly. Dr Manmohan Singh should stick to his guns and go ahead with the nuclear agreement. The nation believes him and his vision and the majority of the people have no qualms with the US about the deal.

R. K. MALHOTRA, Chandigarh



Our sleeping pilots

It was really astonishing to read about the two pilots taking a nap in the Mumbai-Jaipur flight (Editorial, “Sleeping in the cockpit: The plane truth about Air India pilots”, June 27). The “radio lost contact” claim by the authorities is nothing but a cover-up.

However, in the light of this incident, we must remember that India is already facing shortage of quality pilots. Consequently, the available ones have a very tight schedule causing tremendous stress and fatigue. The Centre must take their condition into consideration and prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.

ANIKET SINGH, Army Institute of Law, Mohali



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