Anti-socials will be dealt with by law: Srinivasan

Anti-socials will be dealt with by law: Srinivasan

Veteran nuclear scientist and former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, Dr M R Srinivasan, who headed the Tamil Nadu Government panel to study the safety and other aspects of Kudankulam project along with three other experts, including Prof Iniyan of Anna University, Chennai, had played a crucial role in enabling the State’s decision making process at a critical juncture. Excerpts from an exclusive interview to Deccan Herald:

What was the actual turning point of the impasse over resuming plant start-up operation?

M R SrinivasanAfter our (State) Committee visited the plant, spoke with the district officials and met with the representatives of the agitators, we wrote our report. We pointed out that there was absolutely no correspondence or similarity between the Fukushima and Kudankulam nuclear reactors’ design. The plant location are also vastly different in terms of the geological and marine conditions. But these (anti-KNPP) agitators spread only disinformation and created a big scare in the minds of the people there (Kudankulam area). It’s all contained in our report we gave to Chief Minister J Jayalalitha. She took some time to decide on our report; then the Government saw merit in our report and the Dr Muthunayagam Committee report (appointed by the Centre), that there was no justification to stop the reactors’ functioning or suspend its operations. Thereupon, the State government gave the go ahead.  

Any plans to reach out to the anti-KNPP protestors who want to continue their agitation in other forms like relay fasts at Idinthakarai?

How can you reach out to people who cannot be reached? Some of them have their own agenda and they are all acting on behalf of somebody else. For some people, it’s (opposing) like a religion. The leadership seems to be beyond reason. Now, for instance, they are talking of threat of volcanic activity there (Kudankulam). Our scientists have studied that aspect also and found that the last volcanic activity there was some 60 to 70 million years ago! There are also reports that these people are put up by various forces, some of the NGOs are diverting funds etc…
Will the Rs 500 crore development package for Kudankulam area help?

Of course. We said in our report there should be facilities for cold storage for fish that will help fishermen get better returns on their catch, facilities for maintenance of their boats and engines and so on. We suggested these initiatives as part of the corporate social responsibility activities of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. But the amount for the package was decided by the State Government.
The agitators want all cases against them withdrawn to help normalise the ground situation?

Some of them have indulged in violent acts like preventing officials from entering the plant, terrorising workers and driving them away. Those who indulged in such strong-arm tactics should be dealt with according to law. But if the district administration thinks that by letting them off, these people will be able to get back to their normal activities in life, it’s for them to decide. It is not my agenda. But this cannot be applied to everyone as some of them indulged in anti-social activities.

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