Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has asked the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) to increase the green belt at the site to 25 percent of the land from the current six percent.
The pollution control board will also inspect the KNPP every three months to assess the safety of the nuclear power project.
-Currently only 63.4 hectares is afforested with tree plantation, states the TNPCB. On June 24, the TNPCB gave its consent to the KNPP to operate.
India`s atomic power plant operator NPCIL is setting up the project in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai, with two Russian-made reactors of 1,000 MW each.
The KNPP is an outcome of the inter-governmental agreement between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988. However, construction began only in 2001.
Fearing for their safety in the wake of the nuclear accident in Fukushima in Japan in 2011, villagers in the vicinity of the Kudankulam plant, under the PMANE`s banner have been opposing the project.
City-based environmental activist G. Sundarrajan had filed a case in the apex court demanding the KNPP be scrapped. The court dismissed the case in May and laid down 15 directions for NPCIL, AERB, MoEF and TNPCB to follow.
The project, however, had been delayed mainly due to non-sequential supplies of components from Russian vendors.