Chennai: The central and Tamil Nadu governments should cooperate in operationalising the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) that has been hit by protests, SS Ramasubbu, the Congress MP from Tirunelveli, says.
"Tamil Nadu, suffering from a severe power deficit, surely needs power from the Kudankulam project and the state government should lend its help in operationalising the plant which is ready for generation," Ramasubbu told a news agency ahead of his party`s public rally Saturday to press for the project.
Citing the seven-hour power cut a day in his constituency - KNPP is located in Tirunelveli district - Ramasubbu added: "The power situation would turn acute across the state once the summer season starts."
He said more than 90 percent of people want the atomic power project to be commissioned at the earliest.
Asked about Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa`s charge that the central government has not responded positively to its request for additional power of 1,000 MW, an increase in the supply of kerosene and additional funds, Ramasubbu said: "There should be talks between the central and the state government. Both the governments should cooperate with each other."
According to him, the protest against the project would fizzle out once the state government takes action on the complaints registered by police against the protestors.
Top Congress leaders of the Tamil Nadu unit, ministers from the party in the central government and others will gather at Tirunelveli and address a public rally on the need of the Kudankulam project to the state.
"Three union ministers - GK Vasan, P Chidambaram and V Narayanaswamy - current and former leaders of the Tamil Nadu Congress, Tamil Nadu assembly members and others will participate in the public rally in Tirunelveli Saturday evening to stress the importance of the Kudankulam project for the state," Ramasubbu said.
According to him, the party expects around 25,000 people to attend the rally. The public meeting comes after a central government expert panel gave a clean chit to the KNPP and the Russian reactors there, terming the arguments, observations, calculations of the anti-nuclear activists as wrong.
India`s nuclear power plant operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai.
Villagers of Kudankulam, Idinthakarai and others fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident. Their agitation, led by the People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), had put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit slated last December.
The Tamil Nadu government passed a resolution asking the central government to halt work at the power plant and allay the fears of the local people. To resolve the issue, the central and state governments had set up two panels to allay the fears of the people.
Ramasubbu blamed the NPCIL for being aloof from the local community surrounding the KNPP. "The company did not communicate with the local populace about the project," he said.