The Union government's group of experts on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNNP) will hold one more meeting with a panel constituted by the State government and the local people later this month, a top official of the nuclear establishment said on Monday, and expressed hope that the fears of the local community would soon be allayed.

“One more meeting of the Expert Group will take place by the end of this month, and we hope after that, things will reach a good shape,” said A.P. Joshi, Additional Secretary in the Department of Atomic Energy, after a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi at the Secretariat here.

After three meetings and media discussions, the fears and apprehensions of the local people had substantially reduced, Mr. Joshi said.

“Slowly, things are getting back to normal and the Central government is also willing to go the extra mile to take care of the affected people, neighbouring villagers, their concerns, problems of the community and livelihood; and it is addressing the requirements of the fishermen such as drinking water and better connectivity,” he explained.

Describing these measures as “corporate responsibility”, Mr Joshi said the Chief Secretary also had explained the requirements and expectations of the local people. Asked whether the state government was taking any efforts to convince the protesting people, he said, “Its efforts are going on and we expect resolutions.”

“We want to convince the people that the project is for them and there is no need for any apprehensions.” “In addition, their genuine concerns are being taken care of by the Central and state governments,” Mr. Joshi added. Asked about the request of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMNAE), which is spearheading the people's protests against the project, to allow its experts to take part in the meeting, Mr. Joshi said it was for the State government to take a decision.

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