NAPM AP Chapter along with Sanjeevani Paryavarana Parirakshana Seva Sangham (Srikakulam) and Anu Vidyat Kendram Vyatireka Porata Udyamam undertook a Five day Cycle Yatra in the villages within the 16km radius of the proposed Nuclear Power Park at Kovvada, Ranasthalam Mandal (tehsil), Srikakulam District, Andhra Pradesh; from 3rd August 2011 to 7th August 2011.
The Yatra was led by NAPM AP member, Gandhian, a long time anti-nuclear activist, and Physicist, Dr. Surendra Gadekar. He was joined in this yatra by activists of NAPM AP and joint convener Saraswati Kavula.
This yatra was made possible by, the efforts of AnuVidyut Kendra Vyatireka Porata Udyamam leader Mylapalli Polisu and Sanjeevani Paryavarana Parirakshana Seva Sangham President, Kuna Ramu.
Many villagers and activists of Kovvada Anu Vidyut Kendra Vyatireka Udyamam, mainly from Kovvada and Chinna Kovvada Villages participated in this Cycle Yatra with great enthusiasm and made it a success. CPI ML (ND) leader Tandra Prakash also joined in this yatra and added his wisdom and expertise to the entire campaign.
The cycles were got from Budumuru by Kuna Ramu. Unfortunately there were not enough cycles available in the villages hence, only 10 people could ride the cycles and the rest had to travel by autorickshaws thus it almost became a cycle-auto rally. However, the youth of Kovvada were extremely enthusiastic and cycled with such speeds that they kept pace with the auto rickshaws. On day one we were only on cycles as there were only ten yatris. On day two onwards more people joined, thus on Second day we were 8 cycles one motor cycle and one autorickshaw (total 23 people). Day 3, we were 8 cycles, 2 motor cycles and 2 autorickshaws (40 people), Day 4 we had 10 cycles, (2 borrowed from school children in kovvada) 1 motor cycle and four autorickshaws (75people), Day 5 we had 9 cycles, 1 motorcycle and 3 autorickshaws. (50 people) – this day, there was a function in the village, so some people had dropped out.
We were meeting at 8am in the morning at the bus shelter in Kovvada and after the yatra was finished in the evening, we would come back to Kovvada village.
The yatris travelled from village to village disembarked at the beginning of the village and walked through the villages saying anti-nuclear slogans, showing posters to the people, interacting and explaining to them on the ill effects of living near the nuclear plants, distributing pamphlets on the problems from the proposed nuclear power plant. We also had small street corner meetings once people gathered after the rallies, where Dr. Surendra Gadekar explained to people the ills of Nuclear Plants and also what the alternatives could be. Saraswati did the translation for Dr. Gadekar. Mylapalli Polisu, Kuna Ramu and Tandra Prakash talked to the people about the need for the movement against the proposed Nuclear Power Plant. In many places we met the important local leaders like Sarpanches, MPPs, MPTCs, urging them to join the efforts, and highlighting the problems from Radiation. The villagers of Kovvada, mainly youth had joined in big numbers and went from door to door in all the villages asking the people from other villages to join the efforts in stopping the proposed Nuclear Power park, impressing upon them, that if the power plants come up, Kovvada villagers will be displaced to some distant place, but the people in the rest of the area will be in the greater danger of suffering the ill effects of radiation from the Nuclear Power Plant.
In every place, people of the area have said, that this project is dangerous and they shall join the people of Kovvada in the Movement Against Kovvada Nuclear Power Plants. A decision has emerged to form the Kovvada Anu Vidyut Vyatireka Porata Udyamam and have representative committees from each village to take the Movement forward. A call to display “We don’t want Nuclear Power Plant” banners at the entrance of every village and also to write the same slogans on the walls of every house and also to inform the opinion of the local people opposing the Nuclear Power Park to every government official, visiting every village and to stop any official who speaks in favour of Nuclear Power plant from entering the villages was taken up.
The media had played a great role too, by covering the yatra everyday and encouraged the people further. A day after completion of the Yatra, a memorandum seeking the scrapping of the proposed nuclear power park along with the copies of the resolutions passed by various panchayats, mandals and Zilla Parishad was submitted to the Special Task Force Officer on 8th August during the Grievance Cell day. The officer had promised to submit the same to the District Collector. The same day evening, a press meet was organized by JV Ratnam at Visakhapatnam, where in the details and the outcome of the yatra was shared with the press. This press meet was addressed by Dr. Surendra Gadekar, Saraswati Kavula and Mylapalli Polisu.
Day 1 – 3rd August
The yatra started off with a short meeting at the Bus Shelter of Pedda Kovvada Village on the 3rd, followed by lunch hosted by Mylapalli Polisu at his residence. Post lunch the cycle yatra started from Pedda Kovvada, went through the villages of Chinna Kovvada, Kovvada, Ramachandrapuram and Gudem. On this day a short meeting at the local govt. school, took place where in the children were explained about the harmful effects of Nuclear Power Plants. The children were enthusiast and gave many anti-nuclear slogans and joined the Yatris to go through the village of Kovvada, Ramachandrapuram and Gudem. That evening many have written “We don’t want Nuclear Power” slogans on the walls of their homes.
Day 2 – 4th August
We went to Yendla Lanka Peta, Surampeta, Patarlapalli, ZP School – Patarlapalli, Geedi Kovvada – met the Sarpanch Gorla Vijay Kumar, NGR Puram panchayat – Seekati peta, Guraipata, Pottayyapeta, Gollapeta. Then from here we went to Donipeta, Mentada SC Colony, met Mentada Vice MPP – Satyanarayana Reddy, Mentada SC Colony-2 and finally talked to the manager of Tekkali Seri – KV Raghavan.
This day’s lunch was provided by the Sarpanch of NGR Puram.
Day 3 – 5th August
Budakatlapalem (Heccherla Mandal), Koccherla Panchayati – 1)Kommarivani peta, 2) Kotta Mukham 3) Kolli Bhimavaram 4) Sundara palem – met Kannayya Reddy ex-MPTC, then went to Jeedipalem, Jagannadhapuram, Pedda Seri and Chinna Seri of Gorla Sriramulu Naidu (Ex-minister of AP), Allivalasa, chinna Allivalasa, Kotapalem, met (Sriramulu – TDP leader and Gorla Miraiah Babu – YSR Party).
We had packed lunch at the Bhadra Mankalamma Gudi on the way from Koccherla to Jeedipalem, lunch was paid for by Mylapalli Polisu.
Day 4 – 6th August
Chillapeta, Chinnapatnampeta, Neelampeta, Chinna yamalapeta, Teppala Valasa, Teppalavalasa SC Colony, Pedda Yamalapeta, Yerravaram, V.N.Puram, Kummaripeta, Lankapeta, Ravada, Ravada SC Colony, Seetharampuram.
Lunch was provided by Lanka Sam in his Seri (farm).
Day 5 – 7th August
Venkateswara Colony, Derasam – met Dhammana Suryanarayana – sarpanch, Costa Panchayati Head quarters, met Appadu Dora – ex-MPTC, Vallabharaopeta Panchayati – Main village – met Sarpanch Bhaskar Rao, Pativadapalem – met Advocate Reddy Koteshwar Rao, Pydipeta – Visweswar Rao – Advocate. Ranasthalam Mandal HQ, JR Puram – Girls Hostel, and Venkateshwara Colony – High school children. The yatra ended after Lunch.
Lunch was provided by Mr. Anand Rao, a local merchant from Ranasthalam.
8th August –
Representatives of Kovvada Anu Vidyut Vyatrireka Porata Udyamam submitted a Memorandum to Special Task Force Officer asking for the scrapping of the project.
At four, there was a press meet at Visakhapatnam organized by JV Ratnam, addressed by Dr. Gadekar, Saraswati and Polisu.
Report prepared by Saraswati Kavula