Eighteen years after Pokhran II, locals seek inquiry into environmental damage

Jaisalmer: 18 years after the landmark Pokhran-II nuclear tests, work on a project announced to commemorate the event is yet to begin. India had conducted nuclear tests in Pokhran in 1974 and later on 11 May and 13 May 1998.

"The district administration had planned to install models in the building of Khadi Gramodyog in Jaisalmer.

"It was to be developed as a place to commemorate the nuclear tests but the work is still pending," Pokhran Municipality chairman Anandi Lal Guchiya said.

He said that a gallery which was opened to provide information about the weapons is also closed.

File photo of former PM Vajpayee, Defence Minister George Fernandes, APJ Abdul Kalam, and R Chidambaram after the tests. Reuters

File photo of former PM Vajpayee, Defence Minister George Fernandes, APJ Abdul Kalam, and R Chidambaram after the tests. Reuters

Meanwhile, the Saankda Panchayat Samiti head has demanded that the government should conduct tests to identify if there have been any effects on environment, including the water and flora and fauna, and on health of residents due to the nuclear tests.

When contacted, chief medical and health officer NR Nayak said that no disease or health related problems have been detected in the aftermath of the tests.

Deputy director of the animal husbandry department Malkhan Meena also stated that no ill effects on animals have been detected.

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who was the chief of the Defence Research Development Organisation and scientific advisor to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had played a crucial role in the successful conduct of the test explosions of five nuclear devices on 11 May and 13 May 1998.

Though a number of countries imposed sanctions against India in the aftermath of the Pokhran-II tests, Kalam had later said the tests certainly added to the capability of the nation.


Updated Date: May 12, 2016 14:16 PM

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