Chennai: The protest fast against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) entered its 10th day Thursday in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
"People from Kuttukulai and Kuttapanai villages are on relay fast today. There are around 500-600 protestors at the venue (Idinthakarai village)," S. Sivasubramanian, coordinator of the People`s Rights Movement, an organisation fighting for the plant`s closure, told IANS.
Referring to the expert committee set up by the central government to discuss the issue with the protestors, he said: "We are not against any committee. The state government has passed a resolution to halt all project related work. Let NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd) first stop the work. We will then talk to the expert committee."
The Tamil Nadu government has been silent on the expert committee.
On Oct 20, the central government set up a 15-member expert group that will interact with the officials of the state government and representatives of the people and activists in Tirunelveli who have been opposing the KNPP on various safety-related issues.
India`s nuclear power plant operator NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam, around 650 km from here. The first unit is expected to go on stream in December. The project is estimated to cost around Rs.13,000 crore.
Villagers protesting against the power plant laid siege to it Oct 13 and did not allow anyone to go in. The administration had asked officials of NPCIL to keep away till the situation normalised.