Village heads meet Sreekumar Banerjee, Chairman, AEC

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) will ensure overall development of the neighbourhood of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project by implementing development programmes in a phased manner, Sreekumar Banerjee, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, has said.

Urging the NPCIL and the DAE to take up development programmes in villages under their jurisdiction, heads of 25 village panchayats, three town panchayats and two panchayat unions met Dr. Banerjee at Anu Vijay Township on Thursday and handed over memorandums detailing their demands.

In their petitions, the local body heads said Rs. 25 crore should be given to town panchayats and Rs. 10 crore to major village panchayats and Rs. 5 crore to smaller village panchayats.

At a meeting held here, A.K. Srinivasan, chairman, Thisaiyanvilai town panchayat, speaking on behalf of the town panchayat heads, said the DAE and the NPCIL should carry out development works in the villages, which always supported the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

President of Aavaraikulam panchayat D. Bhaskar said people had their faith in the NPCIL engineers and their technical skill that had created the nuclear reactors at Kudankulam with futuristic safety features. At the same time, the KKNPP should, as a goodwill gesture, ensure better living conditions for all the villagers.

Responding to their appeals, Dr. Banerjee said the DAE and the NPCIL would never let down the KKNPP neighbourhood since the nuclear reactors were going to be here for the next 60 to 80 years to generate power.

An overall and holistic development of the neighbourhood would be ensured. On the development the KKNPP's neighbourhood would experience, Dr. Banerjee said Tharapur, a sleepy coastal hamlet in the sixties, had grown to this level as the nuclear power programmes would always ensure indirect employment to several thousands of people living close to the project site while providing direct employment to only a few hundreds of technicians.

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