Anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project panel makes a plea

The anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) struggle committee has urged Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to pass another resolution in the Assembly or by the State Cabinet in favour of scrapping the upcoming nuclear power programme.

A memorandum containing this demand was handed over to Collector R. Selvaraj on Tuesday when anti-KKNPP struggle committee members met him at the Collectorate on Tuesday evening.

After the Collector's team, comprising Cheranmahadevi Revenue Divisional Officer Raja Kirubhakaran, Valliyoor ASP A. Vijaykumar, Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency N. Amanullah and District Panchayat Secretary S. Vijayakumar inspected the KKNPP site on Tuesday to ascertain the number of workers deployed on duty and apprised him about their assessment, Dr. Selvaraj held talks with the anti-KKNPP struggle committee members S.P. Udayakumar, M.P. Jesuraj, Sivasubramanian and Muhilan.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dr. Udayakumar said the Central experts committee should speak to the experts representing the protestors. “If the Central committee agrees to it, we'll hand over a 70 page questionnaire when our representatives meet them on December 15.”

He alleged that the KKNPP cost had escalated from Rs.13,171 crore to Rs.36,000 crore “due to the scam and misappropriation of funds meant for the project.”

He demanded that top officials of the KKNPP and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited should declare their assets' value and a comprehensive probe should be conducted in this regard,” he demanded.

They also submitted to the Collector a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister. The memorandum alleged that the Union Government was aggravating the Mullaperiyar Dam issue to overshadow the struggle against KKNPP and prevent the anti-nuke activists from Kerala from participating in the ongoing struggle against the nuclear reactors. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be leaving for Moscow to sign the agreements for constructing two more reactors at Kudankulam, “ignoring the sentiments of Tamils,” they alleged. “Hence, the Tamil Nadu Assembly or the Cabinet should pass another resolution demanding the scrapping of the project,” they urged Ms. Jayalalithaa.

Triggers dissent

Meanwhile, the District Collector's recent decision to allow the protestors' representatives also along with the Revenue Inspector and the Village Administrative Officer to check the vehicles entering the KKNPP site for the contract labourers has triggered dissent among the engineers and the top officials.

“The indecent language uttered by the protestors in threatening tone while checking our vehicles is really a matter of concern. They even check the cars of the Station Director, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Commandant here and other top officials of KKNPP. Top officials have to show their identity cards to the Revenue Inspector and the Village Administrative Officer posted at the entrance of the project site. All these are happening everyday to us only because of the district administration's recent decision to allow the protestors to check our vehicles,” a senior KKNPP staff said.

After the protestors detained ten contract labourers and the truck carrying CISF personnel even as they were going to the project site, the Collector empowered the protestors' representatives also to check the vehicles going in.