HC gives go ahead for Kudankulam N-power plant
The Madras high court on Friday dismissed a bunch of petitions against Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant paving the way for its commissioning, work on which is going on at the plant site in Tirunelveli district, some 650 km south of Chennai.india Updated: Aug 31, 2012 12:43 IST
The Madras high court on Friday dismissed a bunch of petitions against Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant paving the way for its commissioning, work on which is going on at the plant site in Tirunelveli district, some 650 km south of Chennai.
The green signal by the Madras high court is for both the 2X1000 MW units that are being built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. After the Friday’s orders, there are no impediments to the nuclear power project, against which there has been a popular movement by villagers from areas surrounding the plant that held up work at the plant for nearly eight months.
The high court decision was dismissed as “one sided” by the Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy that is spearheading the agitation against the plant alleging it to be unsafe. Its convenor Uday Kumar told press persons that the body was contemplating challenging the Madras high court order in the Supreme Court.
“Our struggle against the plant will continue, whatever is the judgment of the High Court,” he said.
NCPIL officials at the plant welcome the court clearance and hoped that they would be able to commission the plant without any hassles now. Plant site director R Sundar, however, said a final decision on the commissioning schedules would have be taken by the senior officials in Mumbai. At the ground level in the plant, all tests were being conducted to ensure that all systems were working in proper order.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board had already given clearance to the Kudankulam plant and allowed it to load nuclear fuel. This order was also challenged by anti-nuclear campaigners.
The Madras high court on Friday also dismissed the petition challenging this clearance and said nuclear fuel loading at the plant can now go ahead. Allowing the AERB clearance, the high court said it could not suspect the AERB expertise on this matter.
But in an effort to safeguard the interests of the people, the high court directed the government and nuclear authorities to ensure that all the 17 safety recommendations made by the task force that reviewed the plant must be implemented as committed by the NPCIL. At present only six of the 17 recommendations are complied with, the court noted.
Dismissing the different petitions challenging the Kudankulam plant, the Madras high court directed the Tamil Nadu government to set up quality schools in the area and also improve and set up port facilities as also increase cold storage capacities to help the local fishermen who feared loss of livelihood because of the nuclear plant.
The court also ordered the government to conduct periodic safety drills and educate the public on the nuclear safety aspects.