Expert panel to meet on Kudankulam row today



Expert panel to meet on Kudankulam row today Chennai: The Central government-appointed expert group is scheduled to have its fourth round of talks on Tuesday with representatives of villagers opposing the upcoming Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu.

However, indications coming from the area suggest that talks are likely to collapse.

On the eve of the crucial talks, anti-nuclear activists said their representatives would not engage in any dialogue, despite promising their attendance.

"We will go to the meeting tomorrow, but we will not engage in any dialogue with them. We will only demand that they have to talk to our people within a radius of 30 km (around the Plant) and to our expert panel," M Pushparayan, a representative of the protestors in the expert panel formed by the State government, said.

"We are not going to make any other fresh demands. They have earlier called our safety concerns unfounded. Then, how can you expect them to take our other concerns. We will receive reports, if any, they give," he added.

Asked whether they were planning to boycott the meeting, he said, "The state government has arranged for the meeting. We respect the move and will attend" it.

Earlier today, the anti-nuclear activists led by Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) leader S P Udayakumar staged a mock funeral of the controversial project, 'cremating' its model in Kudankulam.

The previous three rounds of talks between the panels held on November 7, 18 and December 15 last year failed to make any headway towards commissioning of the first unit at the KNPP as local people protesting against the project were not satisfied with the answers given by the expert group to their queries.

The Indo-Russian joint venture ran into trouble with activists and local people going on protest citing safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan early last year.

PTI