Koodankulam nuke protest suspended for two days

The suspension is to enable residents of Idinthakarai and nearby villages to exercise their franchise in the two-phase local body elections.

Tirunelveli (TN): The week-long protest
against Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant was suspended for two
days on Sunday in view of the civic polls in Tamil Nadu even as
the stir has left over 100 staff members stranded inside the
main project complex.

Addressing the protesters in Idinthakarai, leaders of the
anti-KNPP movement announced the suspension of the second
phase of the stir with immediate effect but said it would be
resumed on Tuesday.

The suspension was to enable residents of Idinthakarai and
nearby villages to exercise their franchise in the two-phase
local body elections being held tomorrow, they said.

With roads leading to KNPP blocked for the past four days,
the work in some sections of the plant was moving at a snail`s
pace and was suspended in some others, officials said.

The movement leaders warned that they would resume the
blockade if the work resumed during the two days.

More than 100 people have been on the indefinite fast
since October 9 while thousands of residents of surrounding
villages have been joining them in the stir demanding
scrapping of the project.

Earlier, officials said around 100 employees of the
Emergency services wing were stranded since yesterday as their
relievers could not enter the complex due to the blockade by
the protestors.

"The employees of the Emergency services wing are stuck
inside since yesterday and have been provided essential
supplies," KNPP Director Kasinath Balaji said.

For the third consecutive day, the anti-KNPP protesters
prevented scientists and other workers from entering the
plant, but after talks with officials, allowed essential
commodities inside for workers staying inside the complex.

In another development, miscreants allegedly disrupted
water supply to the temporary colony housing 900 construction
labourers near the KNPP complex, affecting a section of the
dwelling units.

The protest hit normal life in at least 10 villages in and
around Idinthakarai. Fishermen did not venture out to sea,
expressing solidarity with the protestors.

Balaji told PTI that the continuing agitation would impact
the scheduled commissioning of the plant in December.

"It (the stir) has definitely affected the work. The
protestors have blocked the road leading to the plant. Police
have advised us not to take our vehicles on that road, since
they are blocked," he said.

"If not for these protests, Unit I would have been
commissioned by December," Balaji said.


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