Nod for Kudankulam plant

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has termed ‘unfortunate’ the Supreme Court decision to grant clearance for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant despite widespread fear that the safety measures at the plant left much to be desired.

In a statement here on Monday, Mr. Achuthanandan said the people of Kudankulam were engaged in a battle for survival in the face of nuclear radiation and reports that the equipment used in the plant were substandard. Nuclear experts had also issued a strong warning about the threats posed by the nuclear reactor.

The apex court was considering another petition filed by the people’s action council citing all these issues. The sanction given for commissioning the plant at such a time would only aggravate the fears of the people, the Opposition Leader said.

Completion of line sought

The former Electricity Minister A.K. Balan has urged the State government to ensure the completion of the Kudankulam-Edamon-Kochi power transmission line to enable Kerala draw its share of power from the Kudamkulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

In a statement issued in the context of the permission granted by the Supreme Court on Monday to commence operations at KNPP situated in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, Mr. Balan said Kerala was eligible for 133 MW of electricity from the first stage of the project. But the transmission line to bring the State’s share of the Kudankulam power was yet to be completed due to resistance from people living in some areas over which the line was to pass.

He asked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to convene an all-party meeting immediately to sort out problems that hampered the setting up of the line.

He noted that a major portion of the problematic stretch was in Puthuppally, Mr. Chandy’s constituency. According to Mr. Balan, Kerala might lose its share of the power generated at this project if the line was not completed immediately.

“Kerala is creating favourable conditions for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha to place a claim over its share of the Kudankulam power,” he said.

Kerala would receive from KNPP a total of 266 MW of power with the completion of the second stage of the project.

The State had a shortfall of only 300 MW of power to tide over the present power crisis, he said.