Meet over Kudankulam ends in deadlock

Villagers fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident and the long-term impact the N-plant would have on the population.

Zeenews Bureau

Triunelveli: The meeting between expert committees appointed by the central and Tamil Nadu governments to allay fears of locals about the Kudankulam nuclear plant ended inconclusively on Tuesday.

Today was the first time when the central 15-member committee and the Tamil Nadu government’s six-member committee met to discuss the way forward. However, even after two hours of confabulations they could not arrive at conclusion on how to assuage the concerns raised by the villagers who live in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant.

Fourteen members of the central government`s panel had met yesterday and discussed the points raised by the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) agitators.

"We have discussed the way in which technical aspects could be simplified so that a layman could understand," a member of the committee told reporters on condition of anonymity.

S Sivasubramanian, coordinator of the People`s Rights Movement (an organisation fighting for the plant`s closure) said, “Our two representatives on the state government formed committee will participate in today’s meeting.

Queried about former president APJ Abdul Kalam`s 10-point programme for the development of Kudankulam and neighbouring areas, he said, "Perhaps laying of four lane roads would enable faster evacuation of people in case of a nuclear disaster."

Referring to Kalam`s statement that country is bigger than individuals, Subramanian said, "A community cannot be sacrificed for the economic development of a nation."

Kalam visited KNPP Sunday and gave a clean chit to the project, saying it was a modern and safe plant.

NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam, around 650 km from here.

The first unit is expected to go on stream in December. The project is estimated to cost around Rs 13,160 crore (over $2.5 billion).

Villagers fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident and the long-term impact it would have on the population.

Their agitation has halted the project work, thereby delaying the commissioning of the first unit by several months.

With IANS Input