The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Tirunelveli District Collector and the Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, to appear before it on July 19 in connection with the writ petitions on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).

A Division Bench, comprising Justices P. Jyothimani and S. Duraiswamy gave the direction when the petitions came up for resumed hearing.

In a common counter affidavit, filed through the Advocate-General, A. Navaneethakrishnan, the Tirunelveli Collector, R. Selvaraj, said that as part of ‘off-site emergency measures’ on June 9, such an emergency was declared and a drill of counter measures was conducted in three stages, as prescribed in the emergency plan.

Nakkanery, seven km from KKNPP, was selected as a ‘locally affected area’ for the purpose of the exercise. This was observed by officials including those from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. All villages within a 16 km radius will be covered under this exercise as one village in every two years.

Not convinced by the affidavit, the Bench said the Collector should appear before the court. Also, the Bench sought more details about the proposed Rs.500 crore development and welfare measures to be undertaken by the State government in and around Kudankulam. For this, it said the Chief Engineer, PWD, should be present in the court.

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