The police on Saturday arrested as many as 146 activists, including 105 men, 36 women and five children of the Anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project People’s Federation when they tried to take out a procession from Kanyakumari to Kudankulam.
The activists, who gathered in front of Gandhi Mandapam in Kanyakumari, urged the government to take immediate steps to close the Kalpakkam Atomic Power Project as well as Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, as it would adversely affect the livelihood of fishermen, farmers and other people.
They demanded the government to withdraw various cases foisted on the anti-Kudankulam agitators who were only engaged in organising non-violent agitations, said federation convener, Kulathur Mani.
He further said that when developed countries had opted to close nuclear power projects after the Fukushima incident in Japan, India was still dependent on outdated technologies for producing electricity without exploring alternative ways.
He said even after sub-standard components were being used in Kudankulam nuclear power project, the DAE, NPCIL and AERB maintained stoic silence and it was recently exposed by the arrest of the supplier of sub-standard materials in Russia and the subsequent publication of media reports. After the exposure, the official concerned came forward to replace four valves at KKNPP. Hence, he appealed to the government not to play with the lives of fishermen and people living close to the KKNPP site.
Fishermen in eight coastal villages attached to vallams and country boats did not venture into sea to extend their support.
The national executive member of Adam Ami, Christina, Parantahaman of Tamilar Desiya Iyyakkam, and Anthony Samy of CPI (ML) participated in the agitation.
Special Correspondent writes from Tirunelveli:
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, proponent of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, has said that the NPCIL and the Department of Atomic Energy would not compromise on ensuring quality in every component used in the ready-to-be-commissioned 1,000 MWe nuclear reactor and its overall safety.
In a statement, N. Nagaich, Executive Director (Corporate Planning and Corporate Communications), NPCIL, Mumbai, said some press reports had raised certain issues regarding quality of components and equipment at KKNPP. NPCIL, he said, would reaffirm that a comprehensive quality assurance program was in place.