Power crisis wouldn't have occurred had it helped in commissioning project

Coming out strongly in support of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday said there would have been no grave power crisis in Tamil Nadu had the State government helped scientists and engineers commission the project in Tirunelveli district in the last eight months.

While criticising the anti-Kudankulam agitators, Mr. Karunanidhi wanted to know the mystery and reason behind the State government remaining silent and extending support to the protesters who were up in arms against the KKNPP and other nuclear plants.

Pointing out that the nuclear plant at Kalpakkam, near Chennai, had been functioning without posing any danger all these years, the DMK chief said it was a mystery that there was indirect support for the protests against the Kudankulam project.

“Why has the State government been silent so far,” he asked, addressing a function organised in connection with the birthday of DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin.

‘Incongruous'

Mr. Karunanidhi found it incongruous that at a time when Tamil Nadu was reeling under a power crisis, the State government was silent over opposition to a project capable of generating 1000 MWe (first unit of Kudankulam).

He said the government had so far not answered the question whether it was instigating the people at and around Kudankulam against the project and extending them financial assistance. “The government is maintaining silence. But the world has realised it. Those who know the truth have to go through the anguish quietly. Though fully aware of the situation, some politicians are pretending as if they don't know anything. Some people are openly expressing their view, as they are left with no option.”

‘Uncertainty'

The DMK leader also wondered whether the protesters had the backing and blessings of the government or whether there was a deal between them since the person leading the protest had said he was ready to listen to the rulers of the State. Mr. Karunanidhi accused the government of creating uncertainty over the plant's future by allowing the protests to continue.

Noting that the protesters had rejected earlier reports on the plant's safety aspects, he said there now seemed to be a possibility of the project being allowed to function in the wake of a report submitted by the State government's expert committee. What could be the secret behind these developments, he wondered.

“Who are playing these games? Who are behind it? Though there is an argument that the Americans are behind it because it [the plant] was set up by the Russians, and other similar claims, it is clear that it is the Tamil people who are suffering because of this.”