Tamil Nadu

“INO will open research activities to rural students”

D. Indumathi, Outreach Coordinator, INO project, and Scientist in Instituteof Mathematical Sciences, addressing students in Dindigul on Thursday.— PHOTO: G. KARTHIKEYAN.  

“India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) at Pottipuram near Thevaram in Theni district is safe and environment friendly. Destruction of aquifer is a myth as INO lab cannot be established on wet land,” said D. Indumathi, Outreach Coordinator, INO project, and Scientist in Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

The site was chosen because it has hard rock hill, low rainfall and less vegetation in the surroundings, she said.

Interacting with school and college students here on Thursday, she said that geologists had identified that the required rocky site was available only in Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the country. Brittle rocks in Himalayas were not suitable for it. Kerala was not suitable for this project as it has long rainy season. Pottipuram was ideal. Environmental impact was also low. Government land allotted to it would suffice to establish the lab, Ms. Indumathi said.

She also ruled out air pollution as tunneling work would be done under the earth and drilling would take place from the bottom to the top of the hill. Limited blasts method would be adopted. The nutrino research was a technological challenge. It would open research avenues for basic science students in rural areas, she said.

At present, students opting basic sciences were very negligible as majority of them wished to take up engineering and technologies. Such campaign on basic sciences will rope in more students towards basic sciences.

Reacting to a case filed by Vaiko, she said INO was like any other research lab in the country. It will not produce or manufacture anything and no waste generation. Only observation will be done in the lab. All research activities will take place at the proposed Inter-Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics (IICHEP) in Madurai, 110 km away from the proposed INO site, she said. Later, she responded to questions raised by the students.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 8:28:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ino-will-open-research-activities-to-rural-students/article6813900.ece

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