Koodankulam nuke protest suspended for two days



Koodankulam nuke protest suspended for two days Tirunelveli (TN): The week-long protest against Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant was suspended for two days on Sunday in view of the civic polls in Tamil Nadu even as the stir has left over 100 staff members stranded inside the main project complex.

Addressing the protesters in Idinthakarai, leaders of the anti-KNPP movement announced the suspension of the second phase of the stir with immediate effect but said it would be resumed on Tuesday.

The suspension was to enable residents of Idinthakarai and nearby villages to exercise their franchise in the two-phase local body elections being held tomorrow, they said.

With roads leading to KNPP blocked for the past four days, the work in some sections of the plant was moving at a snail's pace and was suspended in some others, officials said.

The movement leaders warned that they would resume the blockade if the work resumed during the two days.

More than 100 people have been on the indefinite fast since October 9 while thousands of residents of surrounding villages have been joining them in the stir demanding scrapping of the project.

Earlier, officials said around 100 employees of the Emergency services wing were stranded since yesterday as their relievers could not enter the complex due to the blockade by the protestors.

"The employees of the Emergency services wing are stuck inside since yesterday and have been provided essential supplies," KNPP Director Kasinath Balaji said.

For the third consecutive day, the anti-KNPP protesters prevented scientists and other workers from entering the plant, but after talks with officials, allowed essential commodities inside for workers staying inside the complex.

In another development, miscreants allegedly disrupted water supply to the temporary colony housing 900 construction labourers near the KNPP complex, affecting a section of the dwelling units.

The protest hit normal life in at least 10 villages in and around Idinthakarai. Fishermen did not venture out to sea, expressing solidarity with the protestors.

Balaji told PTI that the continuing agitation would impact the scheduled commissioning of the plant in December.

"It (the stir) has definitely affected the work. The protestors have blocked the road leading to the plant. Police have advised us not to take our vehicles on that road, since they are blocked," he said.

"If not for these protests, Unit I would have been commissioned by December," Balaji said.

PTI