The Union government is hopeful that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project will be commissioned soon, as the Tamil Nadu government is quite positive towards the project and is close to making a decision, V. Narayanasamy, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, said here on Saturday.

“The Central government is ready. The Tamil Nadu government is very, very positive, and is wholeheartedly cooperating with the Centre, and is about to take a decision,” he told a media conference.

When he was asked about the stand of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who had asked that work on the project be put on hold until the people's fears are allayed, Mr. Narayanasamy said, “Tamil Nadu is now extremely receptive. That was why it has also constituted a committee. Central officials are interacting with State personnel.” The committee appointed by the State government to examine the safety aspects of the plant has already submitted its report.

He rejected the allegation that the State government was playing a “double game” and explained that while Tamil Nadu was starved of power, this plant would be able to provide as much as 1,000 MW to the State.

The Minister was categorical that nobody had the right to take the law into one's own hands. “Preventing engineers and employees of the KKNPP from entering the plant is illegal. It should be severely dealt with. However, as law and order is under the control of the State government, the Central government will not interfere.”

Noting that as many as 156 cases had been filed against the anti-Kudankulam protesters, led by its convener, S.P. Udayakumar, the Minister demanded that they be arrested and action initiated against them as per law. However, he refused to say anything on Mr. Udayakumar as the latter had sent him a legal notice, for which he was preparing a reply.

When asked why no action was forthcoming against the protesters despite the passage of several months and the huge loss to the exchequer, he said, “We are a patient government.”

Responding to a volley of questions on the deportation of a German national without trying to detain him, even though he was suspected to be involved in the agitation against the KKNPP's commissioning, all that he would say was: “We cannot arrest him without any concrete evidence. But we have prima facie evidence. Now the investigation is on. If he is found guilty, we can always call him back to India.”

He declined to disclose the names of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) suspected to be fomenting the agitation.