Chidambaram recommends early start for Koodankulam N-project


Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has recommended an early start to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project.

Speaking in Tirunelveli, Chidambaram said the central government was probing the flow of funds allegedly received by anti-project activists.

He also welcomed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa''s announcement about constituting an expert panel to address the fears of local inhabitants .

"Investigation is being undertaken to ascertain how the protestors are getting funds. If there is anything wrong, if the money came in a wrong way, if it was used for the wrong purpose and if the accounts were not properly maintained, action will certainly be taken," he said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai, at an outlay of Rs.13, 171 crore.

The first unit was slated to be commissioned in December. However villagers, citing fears for their lives and safety, started their agitation in August and brought all the project-related activities to a standstill.

Last month, the convener of a movement opposing the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant had urged the three leading women chief ministers of India to scrap all the nuclear deals that were inked by the Central Government with foreign countries.

Convener of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, a campaign against the Kudankulam project, S P Udayakumar, wrote a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati seeking their intervention into the matter.

Kumar had requested the three leaders to raise the issue at the chief ministers' conference in February.

Kumar has accused Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh of signing of nuclear deals that might jeopardize the safety of civilians in a rampant manner.

"Manmohan Singh Government is signing agreements with all kinds of countries, mostly secretive agreements. These agreements compromise the basic interests of our people. So, we have to put him on the spot. We have no other go," said Kumar.

"We are not interested in vote politics; we are not interested in fighting for an office that is not we are after. We want to tell the people who are doing what? That''s what we are doing," he added.

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