Warns those acting against nation's welfare and development with funding of foreign agencies

While appealing to the Tamil Nadu Government to cooperate with the Centre in ensuring the early commissioning of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has warned that those acting against the nation's welfare and development with funding of foreign agencies would have to face stern action.

Addressing a public meeting organised by the Congress to demand the early commissioning of the plant, at Palayamkottai on Saturday night , Mr. Chidambaram said India could not achieve higher or desired growth rate due to paucity of power and was taking several initiatives, including the KKNPP, on an outlay of Rs. 13,500 crore to bridge the gap between power generation and demand. Even China, which was similar to India at all levels, was growing rapidly in various spheres, including foreign exchange reserve, power generation, per capita income etc.

While India was struggling to generate an additional 78,000 MW of power in five years, China was generating one lakh MW in addition every year. “Accelerated by this surplus power, China is marching ahead of India in all spheres. Hence, India should match the neighbouring country in ensuring overall development . We cannot meet our power needs, especially industrial needs, by generating electricity through non-conventional energy sources like solar and wind power,” he noted.

Welcoming the State government's decision to form its own expert panel, Mr. Chidambaram hoped that the report to be submitted by the State panel along with the two reports prepared by the Central experts panel would clear the doubts in the minds of protesters and lead to early commissioning of the nuclear power plant.

He said that the Union Home Ministry had detected influx of funds from abroad to some non-governmental organisations during the recent investigation and any wrong and fake expenditure by these NGOs would certainly lead to severe legal action against them.

Union Minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan termed the ongoing protest against the KKNPP fake and against nation's welfare. “You cannot intimidate the Union government through agitations. If you continue to wage this meaningless protest, you'll be isolated,” he warned.

Union Minister V. Narayanasamy said the protest was going on even after competent scientists had certified that the KKNPP reactors that had state-of-the-art safety features. He assured that the Union Government would ensure all-round development of villages around the KKNPP.

Mr. Narayanasamy, dismissing the State government's allegation of step-motherly treatment by the Centre, said the Centre gave Rs.500 crore for carrying out rehabilitation operations after ‘Thane' cyclone and had invested Rs.85,000 crore in Neyveli Lignite Corporation expansion, port development, Salem Steel Plant modernisation, four-lane highways etc.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B.S. Gnanadesigan, former TNCC presidents M. Krishnasswamy, E.V.K.S. Elangovan, K.V. Thangkabalu and Kumari Ananthan, Tirunelveli MP S.S. Ramasubbu spoke.