Chennai: The Centre on Saturday termed as
"unfortunate" anti-Koodankulam nuclear power plant activists
preventing scientists and employees from going to work at the
unit and appealed to them to come to the negotiating table.
"It is unfortunate--the kind of stopping people (from
proceeding to work)... My request is let us negotiate and
discuss with an open mind and we are ready to remove
apprehensions," Minister of State in the Prime Minister`s
office, V Narayanasamy told reporters here.
Noting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided to
set up an expert committee to talk to the agitating locals on
the issue, he said the people`s views will be taken into
Though the protestors had initially started their protest
in a "Gandhian way," they have now changed the mode, he said in reference to the latest developments.
The agitators had stepped up their protest against the KNNP,
staging a road block in front of the plant site on Thursday,
preventing entry of workers and scientists into the complex.
He ruled that despite assurances from Centre and state (on
safety and discussions) they had resumed their protest.
The Centre was waiting for "a signal" from Tamil Nadu
government and would then constitute the expert committee, he said, adding, the completion of the project would augur well
for the power scenario in the country and especially Tamil
Nadu, which will get 925 MW from it.
"More than 99 per cent work in the first reactor and 93 per
cent in the second were over and power production is due to
start soon," Narayanasamy said as he vouched for the plant`s
The Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project, an Indo-Russian
joint venture in Tirunelveli district, has run into rough
weather with the locals protesting against it citing safety
concerns, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
While the state government has urged the Centre to allay
fears of locals on safety concerns, the Prime Minister has
said its stoppage would affect the state`s industrialisation
Delegations of state government and the protesters had also
called on Singh in Delhi recently to convey their respective