Khetaulai (Rajasthan), May 12 : As India marked the 10th anniversary of the second Pokhran nuclear explosion, residents in neighbouring villages of Pokhran complained of government apathy.
Residents of Khetaulai, the village adjoining Pokhran, demanded special package from the Central Government as the compensation given to them was inadequate.
"The compensation given by the State Government is inadequate. The nuclear tests were conducted in our village, but the credit has been given to Pokhran. We demand adoption of our village by the Central Government which should announce a special package for the residents," said Ashok, a youth.
The villagers also said that the tests have resulted in shortage of grazing fields and livestock.
"The growth of the grass has been affected in the fields because of the tests and moreover livestock are being born with ocular disabilities, and they die premature death. We have considerable reduction in the livestock population. In 1998, the village had a livestock population of 10,000, whereas at present we have only 7,000 of them," said Kanhaiya Lal, a resident.
The Atal Behari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government staged the blasts in the desert range of Pokhran on May 11 and May 13 in 1998 and decided to observe May 11 as "Technology Day".
The explosions, staged 24 years after India's first underground nuclear test, brought economic sanctions from the United States and other countries.