Chennai: In a fresh initiative aimed at
breaking the impasse over the Koodankulam Nuclear power plant,
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday announced that a panel of
experts would be set up to look into the "fears and concerns"
of the local population regarding the plant.
Jayalalithaa`s announcement in the Assembly comes days
after efforts by the Central expert group to resolve the issue
hit a dead end with both the panel as well as the anti-KNPP
activists ruling out further talks after four rounds of
Wrapping up the week-long session of the Assembly,
Jayalalithaa said that at the last meeting (on January 31)
between the Central group and representatives of the
protestors, the former had submitted a report and said its job
"Under these circumstances, the state government will
constitute an expert panel which will look into the fears and
concerns of the locals and submit a report soon," she said in
her reply to the motion to thank the Governor for his address.
The state government would plan further action based on
this report, she said.
Jayalalithaa`s move was welcomed by SP Udayakumar of
People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheading
the over five-month long protest that has delayed the
commissioning of the first unit of the Indo-Russian project.
On the power shortage situation, she slammed the previous
DMK for doing "little" to enhance power generation and said
various projects were progressing well and a capacity addition
of 1950 MW would achieved by June this year.
Another 600 MW will be added by October and the state
will be free of power cuts from mid-2013, she said, adding
that an assistance of Rs 6,455 crore had been extended to the
state electricity board to speed up projects.