Central panel on Kudankulam to meet in three weeks

December 3rd, 2011 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 3 (IANS) The central government committee, appointed to allay the fears of locals about the safety of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu, will meet in three weeks to discuss the panel’s responses to the issues raised by protestors and people, an official said Saturday.

“The committee is studying the issues raised by the members of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE). The issues were raised by them during our second meeting with the state government appointed panel,” A.E. Muthunayagam, convenor of the 15-member expert panel on the KNPP, told IANS.

“We are open to meet the state panel members once again but not any other forum unless mandated by the government,” he added.

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 here.

Villagers fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident.

Their agitation has put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit and increasing the project cost from the budgeted Rs.13,171 crore.

The central and state governments have formed two panels on the issue. The state panel has the representatives of the PMANE that is spearheading the movement against the Kudankulam nucler power plant.

As per plans, the central panel would meet the state panel and explain the safety features and other aspects of the KNPP. The state panel will, in turn, allay the fears of the people.

Reiterating their stand that the centre’s panel will not meet any other group, Muthunayagam said: “Our mandate is to meet the state panel. We have met them twice and would meet them again. As of now, there is no mandate for us to meet any other panel.”

The PMANE wants the central panel to meet the people and explain the safety features or meet a panel of experts constituted by the former.

The central expert panel was not allowed to make a power point presentation to the state panel on reactor design, safety features, among other issues.

“The PMANE members Nov 18 said they are not interested in the presentation and wanted us to give it in report form. In three weeks time, our members will meet at Kanyakumari,” another member of the central panel told IANS, requesting anonymity.

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