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Halt Koodankulam nuke project: Jayalalithaa to PM

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa today urged the Prime Minister to halt the Koodankulam nuclear power plant, alleging its construction was creating "fear" in villages near it.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2011 17:03 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday urged the Prime Minister to halt work on the Koodankulam nuclear power plant till the fears of the people in the area are allayed.

An all-party delegation led by state finance minister O Paneerselvam would carry a petition of the people for his intervention on the nuclear project, she announced. She said that she would also sign the memorandum.

She requested the PM to halt work on this project, as it is disturbing normal life of the people in Koodankulam area.

Accusing the Centre of "abdicating" its responsibilities, Jayalalitha in a press release said till date no union minister or responsible official have visited the people, who are living in perpetual fear of a nuclear accident like the Fukushima disaster.

The prime minister should have sent a high level team to allay the fears and misgivings of the people, she said.
She also lashed out at union minister of state for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan for absolving herself of any responsibility in the matter.

On being asked about the Koodankulam plant issue by media, Natarajan reportedly said "the subject comes under the purview of the Atomic Energy Commission and her ministry has nothing to do with it."

"The last few days have been very agonising for the people of Koodankulam. It is natural that the people living here fear for the safety of their families and for themselves," Jayalalithaa said in the press release containing excerpts from her letter to the Prime Minister.

Jayalalithaa also appealed to leaders of like-minded parties and the fasting protestors to sign a memorandum and join the delegation that would meet the Prime Minsiter over this issue.

Over 125 people are on an indefinite fast at Idthantikarai, two km from the KNPP, since September 11 and over 10,000 villagers have been joining them in observing relay hunger strike to demand closure of the power plant being built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) with Russian help.

On Sunday, her ally and leader of opposition in assembly, DMDK chief Vijaykanth also extended support to the protestors at the site.

First Published: Sep 19, 2011 13:58 IST