Kudankulam, Mullaperiyar to dominate PM’s Tamil Nadu visit

December 24th, 2011 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, Dec 24 (IANS) The Mullaperiyar Dam row, the stalled Kudankulam project, financial assistance and additional power to the state are some to the issues that are expected to be discussed by Tamil Nadu leaders with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his two-day visit starting Dec 25.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi told reporters Saturday that he will be meeting Manmohan Singh Monday and discuss the Mullaperiyar issue.

He said he will discuss the attacks on Tamils in Kerala and the raising of storage levels in the Dam to 142 ft.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam — located in Kerala, but under the control of Tamil Nadu and serving the state.

Tamil Nadu is stongly objecting to Kerala’s demand of a new dam and reduction in storage level to 120 ft till a new dam is built.

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is also likely to meet the prime minister Sunday though it has not been confirmed one.

This is the first time Manmohan Singh is visiting Tamil Nadu after the AIADMK came to power in May. He came here in January to inaugurate the Indian Science Congress.

Jayalalithaa is sore at the central government for not heeding her requests for financial assistance, additional power and kerosene allocation to the state.

Then there is the matter of the Kudankulam project.

India’s nuclear power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai, at an outlay of Rs.13,171 crore.

The first unit was slated to be commissioned in December. However villagers, citing fears for their lives and safety, started their agitation in August and brought all the project-related activities to a standstill.

Tamil Nadu cabinet has passed a resolution urging the central government to stop all works at the project site till the fears are allayed.

Manmohan Singh’s comments during his recent Russian visit that the first reactor at Kundankulam would be operationalised in two weeks time did not go down well with Jayalalithaa.

In turn, Jayalalithaa wrote to the prime minister that she was “amazed” to see such comments being made and reminded him of the cabinet resolution.

Meanwhile parties like DMDK and MDMK have announced staging black flag demonstrations during the prime minister’s visit.

On Dec 26, Manmohan Singh will participate in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of mathematician S.Ramanujan organised by The Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

He would then leave for Karaikudi in Sivaganga district to participate in a function at Alagappa University and inaugurate the 100th eye hospital of Vasan Healthcare Group.

He will return to New Delhi Dec 26.

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