18yrs after nuclear tests, commemorative project a non-starter
Jaisalmer, May 12: 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 nulcear tests in Pokhran in 1974 and later on May 11 and May 13, 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.
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 N R 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 illeffects 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 May 11 and May 13, 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.