NAGPUR, Mar 4: 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 said here that in the last two-and-a-half years or so, the Modi government can reasonably claim credit for having visibly brought the country’s nuclear programme to North India, whereas it was hitherto confined mostly to the southern and western parts of the country or to some extent in the central parts.
During his visit to the Central Regional Headquarter of the “Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) for Exploration and Research”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, during the last two years, a nuclear installation has been established in Gorakhpur, Haryana which, when functional after two to three years, will be able to produce cost-effective energy at the rate of around Rs. 6 per unit. Similarly, he said, in a new initiative undertaken last year a “Hall of Nuclear Power” was set up at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi with the idea that since the headquarters of Department of Atomic Energy were in Mumbai and most of the activity confined to western and southern parts, the people living in Union Capital should be exposed to the enormous new initiatives taken by the present government in the expansion of India’s nuclear programme.
The nuclear programme started by its founding father, Dr Homi Bhabha, sixty years ago, primarily for peaceful purposes, said Dr Jitendra Singh, has found its true vindication during the Modi regime and Prime Minister Modi takes it upon himself as a priority agenda to engage in discussions and finalize agreements during each of his visits abroad, which has given a heavy boost to India’s nuclear programme and also lifted the morale of the Indian nuclear scientists. Not only this, he added, in a path-breaking decision the union cabinet recently also passed a proposal for PSUs to enter into partnership with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) for setting up joint-venture nuclear plants. This, he said, is bound to give a sudden fast push forward to future endeavors, with the PSU from another sector providing financial resources and NPCIL providing technical know-how to achieve the nation’s common goal.
Director of AMD, Dr L.K. Nanda made a PowerPoint presentation in which he provided a resume of the different regions and States where exploration activity to find new reserves of Uranium was under way. These, according to presentation, among other regions, included Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Meghalaya.
Dr Jitendra Singh congratulated the nuclear scientists and engineers working in AMD and said that India today has a considerable Uranium reserve which is intended to increase manifold in the years to come. He said, the government is keen to encourage activities for exploration of Uranium reserves in those parts and regions where such activity has so far not been taken up.