Stepping up their protest against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, agitators on Thursday staged a roadblock in front of the plant site, preventing entry of scientists and workers into the complex.

The protest hitherto confined to fast took a new turn even as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa assured the local population that their sentiments would be respected.

“As far as Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is concerned, Tamil Nadu government will certainly act respecting the local peoples’ sentiments. I will be one among you in the issue,” she told a campaign rally ahead of next week’s civic polls.

Ms. Jayalalithaa’s remarks during her speech at neighbouring Tuticorin came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to her cautioning that the State’s development would be hit in the absence of power from the Indo-Russian project.

Speaking after the more than three-hour long road blockade, Pushparayon, one of the convenors of the agitation, said the stir would be intensified further if the Central and State governments did not take steps to scrap the project.

He told PTI that the anti-nuclear energy movement was firm in opposing the plant and Dr. Singh’s letter had irked them. .

“We are worried about the impact of the plant on the people and the environment,” he said.

More In: National | News | Tamil Nadu