A city advocate has filed a public interest litigation petition in the Madras High Court seeking to forbear the authorities from going ahead with the construction and functioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant without providing for the facilities for evacuating people in a 170km radius to a safer place in an emergency. The petitioner said medical and rehabilitation facilities should be set up by earmarking sufficient funds.

In his petition, K.S.Radhakrishnan said that the authorities were bound by law not only to provide the necessary infrastructure, but also inform the public about the safety measures that would be taken.

The environmental pollution that would be caused by the power plant in the immediate future and over a period should be borne in mind. After the Chernobyl accident in 1986, several countries came forward to closing down their nuclear power stations.

The reaction of the public against the Kudankulam power project had been sidelined by the authorities. Though they promised full safety, they could not vouchsafe that there would be no accident at all. In this regard, what needed to be considered was the immediate measures that should be taken if an accident occurred. Another issue was the impact that would be caused by the accident on human beings, plants and animals for years to come. The gravity of the problem that would be caused by pollution should also be taken into account.

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