Chennai: The work has finally resumed at the controversial Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tirunelveli, around 650 km from Chennai. The development came a day after several anti-KNPP protesters were arrested following a go-ahead to the plant by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
“Immediate steps will be taken for the speedy commissioning of the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam nuclear power plant,” Jayalalithaa had said in a statement issued after a Cabinet meeting yesterday.
Work had been stalled at the plant site owing to protests by anti-KNPP activists.
According to reports, nearly 3000 security personnel have been deployed in and around the plant site. These include police and personnel of the Rapid Action Force (RAF).
Sources said around 300 employees have been sent inside the plant premises to resume work.
On Monday, the Tamil Nadu police arrested five key functionaries of a body spearheading the movement against KNPP.
Police said one of those arrested was the legal adviser of People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheading the movement against KNPP, while the others were `instrumental in instigating the locals against the plant`.
Meanwhile, PMANE chief convenor RB Udhayakumar began an indefinite fast at Indinthakarai village yesterday, demanding closure of the plant and that it should not be commissioned without proper disaster management training to the locals.
He also demanded release of those arrested on Monday.
Police said cases were registered against nine persons, including those arrested, under Sections of IPC, for holding demonstrations without permission, preventing KNPP plant officials from discharging their duty and blocking roads.
In another development, thousands of people from Idindhakarai village yesterday blocked the entrance of the plant, demanding release of those arrested.
Sources close to Udhayakumar said all the villagers would court arrest if those arrested were not released.
The Centre had recently accused anti-KNPP activists of receiving funding from several foreign NGOs, including those from the US.
Meanwhile, the chairman and managing director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project`s (KNPP) first 1,000 MW unit will be ready for the atomic energy regulator`s clearance for fuel loading in two months` time.