India to be deprived of tech knowledge of Nuke deal: Yechuri

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Patna, Sep 24 (UNI) CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechuri today said India would be solely dependent on the US as the deal would not provide the technological knowledge of the Nuke project to the country.

Speaking to newsmen here, Mr Yechuri said his party was not against nuclear energy but felt that the 123 deal was against the interest of the nation.

He said as per the proposed deal India would have to depend solely on the US for the heavy water technology, required for enrichment of nuclear reactors as, according to the draft, they would not provide such a technology.

Mr Yechuri said ''Hyde Act'' was the major hitch of the deal as the US had kept all rights within itself.

Moreover, he said the US foreign policy was against India and in such a situation it would be improper to enter into any deal with the country.

He reminded the fate of Tarapur deal, signed with the US in 1963, and said by taking a unilateral decision the US had suddenly dropped the deal in 1974 and since then the deal was languishing.

Concerned with the huge expenditure involved in the proposed Indo-US nuclear deal, Mr Yechuri said India would have to invest Rs 2,40,000 crore within ten years after it signed the deal.

He also suggested the Centre to invest this huge fund for the improvement of education and healthcare.

The government could set up 2.5 lakh Navodaya schools or bring up hospitals of AIIMS type with 20 lakh beds with this fund, he stated.

This would be considered a meaningful expenditure of the government in carrying forward the developmental work, he pointed out.

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in which he had stated to enhance the nuclear energy up to 40,000 MW from the current 3,000 MW, Mr Yechuri suggested the Centre to explore alternative methods for generating nuclear energy instead of entering into the deal.

He said 70 per cent of the world's Thorium was stored in India which could be converted into Plutonium for generating nuclear energy.

The country should also explore cheaper alternatives like coal, gas and water for producing energy, he added.

Mr Yechuri said his party was not interested in destabilising the UPA government till it adhered to the agenda, adopted specially for the nuclear deal, and maintained that in case the deal was finalised, the Bush administration would use it as a major tool in the coming US Presidential election.

Regarding controversy surrounding the ''Ram sethu'', Mr Yechuri said his party was not against the construction of the water channel which was proposed during the time of the Vajpayee government and lauded the Centre for withdrawing the related affidavit from the Supreme court as it was creating a lot of controversies in social and political circles.

UNI

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