Centre clears way for neutrino observatory

With the approval, efforts to build the Rs 1,000-crore INO, which will house the world’s most massive magnet, fell back on track and is now expected to be finished by 2015 if the Cabinet clearance comes in time.

The project involves setting up of detectors in a two-km-long and 1,300-metre deep tunnel under a hillock to look for an esoteric cosmic particle called neutrino.  Once ready, the INO is expected to be one of the world’s most vital underground laboratory for particle physics.
The approval, however, comes with conditions that trees in the area should not be felled and the forest cover not damaged. It also calls for minimising the impact of tunnelling and removal of rock debris.

Till a year ago, the ambitious project faced uncertainties  when Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh rejected the INO site in the Nilgiri district as it falls within the buffer zone of the Madhumalai tiger reserve.

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