CHENNAI: The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheading the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tirunelveli, on Sunday expressed hope of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J Jayalalithaa’s “cooperation” in scrapping the plant.
Claiming the central government “is interested in creating jobs for foreigners, strengthening foreign economies, enhancing profit for foreign corporations, and perpetuating their own personal and their collective gains,” the PMANE, in a letter to Ms Jayalalithaa, said, “We, the people of Tamil Nadu, depend on your kind and effective intervention in this important matter.”
Copies of the letter were released to the media on Sunday.
Referring to the discussions with the central government’s expert panel and the questions posed to them, PMANE complained, “Instead of giving all the detailed and truthful information to our queries, the central government belittles our request by saying that some foreign forces are behind all our efforts.”
“They use this false pretext for not giving any of the basic information to the people of Tamil Nadu. We are not interested in any national security information. We only ask for the information that has a serious impact on our right to life and livelihood,” it said.
The report of the central panel gave no “specific or scientific information on nuclear waste and vague information on the fresh water needs” of KNPP, the letter notes.
“To put it tersely, the Expert Group has come up with an ill-baked and incomplete eyewash report. The Expert Group has not talked to any section of the Tamil public and nor has it tried to allay the fears and concerns of the people,” PMANE said in its letter.
Charging the central government of spreading canards like receiving foreign funds, foreign help and guidance, the PMANE assured Ms Jayalalithaa that there is “not even an iota of truth in these accusations.”
The movement against the two 1,000 MW reactors being built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in Tirunelveli district’s Kudankulam area, about 650 km from Chennai, began August 16 at Idinthakarai.
Villagers fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident and the long-term impact the nuclear plant would have on the population.
Their agitation has put a stop to the project work, thereby delaying the commissioning of the first unit by several months and increasing the project cost from the budgeted Rs 13,171 crore.