‘Centre hopeful of opening KNPP very soon’

Narayanasamy`s remarks assume significance in the backdrop of the state government appointed panel which went into the safety aspects last month.

Chennai: With pressure mounting on the Tamil Nadu government to ease the acute power situation, the Centre
on Saturday hoped that it would "very soon" commission the
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project as the state government was
"very very positive" to the opening of the plant.

"My hunch is that Tamil Nadu government will take a
decision as early as possible" on the project, work which has
come to a standstill for many months following protests from
locals, spearheaded by People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy
told reporters here.

The state government was very positive and was cooperating
with the Centre as the law and order issue was a state
subject, he said,adding Central and state government officials
were regularly interacting.

He denied any "double-game" by the Tamil Nadu government
and said it was aware that it was in need of power and assured
to provide 1000 mw of the energy from Kudankulam plant though
its original share was 925 mw.

Narayanasamy`s remarks assume significance in the backdrop
of the state government appointed panel which went into the
safety aspects last month also virtually giving a clean chit
to the project.

Earlier the Centre`s 15-member expert panel set up to allay
the fears of the locals had vouched for the safety of the
Indo-Russian project, where the work on the first two units to
product 2000 MW of power has almost completed.

Tamil Nadu government had yesterday sent its Additional
Director General of Police (Law and Order) S George and other
police top brass in south to the region for an assessment of
the law and order situation.

Narayansamy said by preventing scientists and employees
from entering the plant, the protestors were taking the law
into their hands. Police had filed 150-odd cases against them,
he said.

On the controversy surrounding the deportation of German
national Sonnteg Reiner Hermann on the grounds that he
participated in anti-KNPP protests, Narayanasamy said a probe
was on as site map of the project besides some local contacts
were found from the electronic gadgets in his possession.

"There is all possibility of calling him back (for further
probe) whenever required," he said, adding, a prima facie case
was made out against him.

To a query on the US-sponsored motion against Sri Lanka for
human rights violations during the conflict against LTTE, he
said the PMO had been apprised of the sentiments of the Tamil
people and political parties. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa,
DMK president M Karunanidhi and MDMK leader Vaiko had taken up
the issue with the Prime Minister.

Without elaborating, he said India will not support any
sort of human rights violations or abuse in any part of the
world but insisted that as for Sri Lanka such allegations were
levied against both the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE.

He also condemned the attacks on journalists allegedly by
advocates in Bangalore yesterday and called for action against
the erring lawyers.

Responding to a statement by a US military official that
its troops were stationed in India besides Nepal, he said it
had been already clarified by the Centre that it was not a
fact. India did not encourage other countries to station their
troops in our country, he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs and the Defence Ministry
had yesterday denied a Pentagon general`s statement that US
special forces troops were based in India besides Nepal,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives to counter threats from
organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba.


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