Expert panel on Koodankulam to meet Saturday

Villagers in Koodankulam, Idinthakarai and nearby areas fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident.

Chennai: Restarting the process of allaying
the safety concerns of locals over the Koodankulam Nuclear
Power plant, a four-member committee set up by Tamil Nadu
government will visit the project site on Saturday and meet

The decision to interact with the plant officials as well
as the protesters was taken at the first meeting of the
committee held here on Friday, its Convenor Prof S Iniyan said.

"We will go to Koodankulam tomorrow and meet officials
and protesters there. We will soon submit a report to the
state government," he told PTI.

The panel has been set up by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
in a fresh initiative after the 15-member expert group, set up
by the Centre to allay the fears of locals, failed to break
the logjam with anti-Koodankulam protesters even after four
rounds of talks.

The four-member panel, including former Atomic Energy
Commission chief MR Srinivasan, met Jayalalithaa and Chief
Secretary Debendranath Sarangi and discussed the issue, which
has stalled the commissioning of the first reactor in the
Indo-Russian project for over five months.

Asked whether they would meet the protesters who are
against the project, Iniyan said, "We will inform the District
Collector and he will arrange it. Probably, we will meet the
protesters on Sunday."

Srinivasan, whose inclusion in the panel has been opposed
by the protesters, who call him "pro-nuclear", said there was
a dire need of electricity in the state.

"It is not right to state that everyone is opposing the
project. There are concerns about the safety aspect, which
will have to be allayed," he said.