N-protests: After Jaya’s missive, PM sends MoS to TN

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has sought a halt on Koodankulam nuclear power project in the face of rising protests against it.

New Delhi: With Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jayalalithaa seeking a halt on Koodankulam nuclear power
project in the face of rising protests against it, Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh on Monday decided to send MoS in the PMO V
Narayanasamy to the state on Tuesday to meet state government
officials and others to address the issue.

Singh spoke to Jayalalithaa after she sent a letter to
him seeking a halt to the project, being constructed with
Russian help, till safety concerns are addressed, sources

Narayanasamy will meet the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary to
get an idea about the protests which are going on at the
project site for some time, the sources said.

He will also meet leaders of the agitating people and
those on hunger strike, if needed, they said.

On Wednesday, a presentation will be made to the Chief
Minister on the safety measures put in place at the project
site, they said.

With the fast by over 100 locals in the area against the
project entering the ninth day on Monday, Jayalalithaa wrote to
the Prime Minister saying the Centre was "abdicating" its
responsibilities while a fear psychosis had been created among
people and villages surrounding the project area.

"It is unfortunate to see that the Centre is abdicating
its responsibilities. The Prime Minister should have sent a
high-level team to allay the fears and misgivings of people in
Koodankulam area," she said.

"I request you to kindly issue suitable instructions to
the concerned authorities that further work on this project
may be halted until this issue is settled," she said.

Jayalalithaa`s missive came three days after she herself
had sought to allay the fears of local population saying the
Indo-Russian joint venture in Tirunelveli district has
adequate safety parameters and appealed to agitators to end
their protest.

The agitation against the project has intensified since
late last month after the authorities announced that the first
of the two 1x1000 MWe reactors set up at the coastal village
of Koodankulam would be commissioned in December.

Jayalalithaa said it was "surprising" to note that till
date no responsible minister or concerned higher authorities
from the union government had met the people or even attempted
to assuage their misgivings.


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