Kudankulam deadlock likely to continue

January 30th, 2012 - 11:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) The fourth round of talks at Tirunelveli between the central government’s expert panel on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) and the Tamil Nadu government’s panel Tuesday seemed headed for a deadlock, with a state panel member expressing unhappiness over the central panel’s working.

“None of our questions have been answered during the past three meetings. The central expert committee has not agreed to meet the members of our own panel of experts. At Tuesday’s meeting, we will reiterate our demand and come out,” M. Pushparayan, convener of the Coastal People’s Federation and a member of the state panel told IANS over phone.

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.

The project originally budgeted to cost Rs.13,171 crore, got initially delayed due to non-sequential deliveries of equipments from Russia. The revised project cost is estimated to be around Rs.15,824 crore.

Villagers of Kudankulam, Idinthakarai and others fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident.

Their agitation led by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) of which Pushparayan is a leading member, has put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit slated last month.

To resolve the issue, the central and state governments have formed two panels to allay the fears of the people. The state panel has representatives of PMANE that spearheads the protest against the project.

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

According to Pushparayan, PMANE’s two members are neither boycotting Tuesday’s meeting nor walking out of it.

“We will receive the report, if any, shared by the central panel,” he said.

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