Will form expert group in TN N-power project, assures PM
The Centre would constitute an expert group to allay fears of the people of Kudankulam, over the nuclear power complex in southern Tamil Nadu. HT reports.delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2011 00:49 IST
The Centre would constitute an expert group to allay fears of the people of Kudankulam, over the nuclear power complex in southern Tamil Nadu.
The assurance came from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who on Friday met a delegation of Tamil Nadu government along with representatives of protesters opposing the project to be operationalised soon.
Most of the villagers around Kudankulam, dependent on fishing in the Bay of Bengal, are on a protest raising safety concerns in the wake of Fukushima (Tsunami triggered nuclear mishap) in Japan.
"Since the issues raised were technical in nature and required in-depth discussion, the central government would constitute a small group of experts to interact with the representatives of the people to satisfy all their legitimate concerns. This exercise would suitably involve the state government of Tamil Nadu," a statement form the PMO said.
The PM also wrote a letter to J Jayalalithaa in which he sought her support for timely implementation of the project. He stressed nuclear energy as an important option to enhance energy security.
"For a large and fast growing economy like ours, and given the volatility and uncertainty of international energy markets, it is in our national interest that we tap all sources of energy, and diversify our energy mix. Nuclear energy is one option to enhance our energy security. The centre will ensure that this is pursued with full regard to the safety, livelihood and security of the people," Singh said in the letter detailing the safety features and protection measures.
"I count on your support in ensuring the timely implementation of the Kudankulam project," Singh added.
In the wake of protests and an indefinite fast demanding withdrawal of the project, on September 19, Jayalalithaa wrote to the PM pointing the protests and seeking a safety assurance. The Tamil Nadu cabinet had passed a resolution urging the centre to halt the work till the safety fears of the local population are properly addressed.