It will submit its report to government at the earliest
In a fresh move to resolve the deadlock over the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNNP), Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced in the Assembly on Saturday that the State government will constitute a panel of experts immediately to go into the safety system of the proposed plant and “perceptions and apprehensions” of the local population.
The panel would submit its report to the government at the earliest, on the basis of which the State government would take steps, she informed the House during her 90-minute reply to the debate on the motion to thank the Governor for his address.
Recalling the developments on the issue since September, the Chief Minister said the 15-member experts' group, formed by the Union government, held its last meeting on January 31. Only one of the three representatives of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) had attended the meeting. After presenting a report, the group declared the completion of its work.
The Tirunelveli District Collector and Superintendent of Police were nominees of the State government in the group, which held its meetings on November 8 and 18 and December 15. The experts' group had given written answers to various questions raised by the PMANE and concluded, in its 77-page report, that the plant was safe.
Tracing the history of the project, she said that in 1988, India and the Soviet Union had entered into a memorandum of understanding to establish a nuclear power plant in Kudankulam of Tirunelveli district with two units of 1,000 megawatt.
In 2001, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India launched works and when 95 per cent of the works was over, the local population began their agitation in September out of fear over the safety arrangements of the plant.
She wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put on hold the execution of the project till the people's concerns were addressed.
The State Cabinet had adopted a resolution in this regard. Referring to observations of some members of the Assembly that there was no mention of the Kudankulam project in the Governor's address, she explained that as the final meeting of the experts' group was scheduled on January 31, it would not have been appropriate to make a reference to the project.