Stop work on N-plant, Jaya tells PM

Stop work on N-plant, Jaya tells PM

The nuclear power plant located at Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. PTI

The villagers’ protest agai­nst the construction of the two 1,000-MW unit nuclear reactors entered the tenth day on Monday and received the support of many social activists, including Medha Patkar.

In a strongly worded letter to the prime minister, Jayalalitha said with the first unit, a project by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPC) at Koodankulam to be commissioned soon, the “last few days have been very agonising for the people there as they are under great apprehension in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan (in March 2011).”

Jayalalitha regretted that there has been no serious efforts so far at the top level of the Central government, not even by Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan,  to allay the fears of villagers. 

Urging Manmohan to depute competent authorities to hold discussions with the people of Koodankulam and address their concerns squarely as the Department of Atomic Energy was directly under his control, Jayalalitha said until the people were convinced about the project and the “issue is settled”, all further work on the  nuclear power project be halted at once.

Reiterating her appeal to the protesters to give up their fast in the wake of her letter to the prime minister, Jayalalitha said she would send an all-party delegation led by State Finance Minister O Pannerselvam along with the affected people’s representatives to meet the prime minister.   
  
On Monday, more villages from neighbouring Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts  joined hands with the protesters even as fishermen of Kanyakumari did not put out to sea.
Welcoming the chief minister’s decision, Pushparajan of the Coastal Fishermen’s Network said from the beginning the fishermen were against the project as it posed a direct economic and environmental threat to their livelihood.

PM reaches out  to Jaya

Later in the evening, the prime minister called up Jayalalitha and she explained to him the dynamics of the swelling protests against the nuclear plant. 
Singh promised her that he will depute Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanaswamy to discuss the issue.

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