New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday extended her full support to hundreds of anti-Koodankulam nuclear power project agitators, who are taking out rallies demanding the urgent closure of the plant.
According to reports, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister today assured the protestors that their interest won’t be compromised at any cost. The AIADMK supremo also assured them that her government will press the central government to find an amicable solution to this issue at the earliest.
“My government will ensure that your interest is not compromised. I will be one among you in finding a perfect solution to this problem,” she said.
Her reaction came hours after hundreds of agitators today stopped Kudankulam project workers from going for work and requested them not to attend duty.
"For the past five days, 106 people are on fast demanding scrapping of the nuclear power project. The government doesn`t seem concerned with the protest while some officials are passing uncharitable comments about the protest. Hence, we have decided to take up the issue with the workers," People`s Rights Movement coordinator S. Sivasubramanian said.
The relay fast is being held at Idinthakarai village near Kudankulam in the district, around 650 km from here.
Various groups of women blocked the KNPP workers and asked them to go back home as the project would endanger their lives and also affect their livelihood, he said.
"We tell the workers that Tamil Nadu cabinet has passed a resolution asking the central government not to proceed with the project and the concerns expressed by all the political parties. The workers are going back," he said.
Buses carrying KNPP workers too were blocked, affecting work at the project site.
KNPP officials said that plant maintenance was being taken care of by skeletal staff. On an average, around 1,000 people work per shift.
"The central government is not listening to the Tamil Nadu people, be it the attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka or the fishermen in Kudankulam whose livelihood would be affected by the nuclear project," Sivasubramanian added.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW-capacity nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam. The first unit is expected to go on stream in December.
The total project cost is estimated to be around Rs.11,500 crore.
The activists are irked at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s letter to Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, telling her that the state`s industrialisation would be impacted by the non-availability of electricity if the 2,000 MW Kudankulam nuclear power project was scrapped.
He said that of the 2,000 MW to be generated by the two units of the Kudankulam plant, 925 MW would be allocated to Tamil Nadu.