Koodankulam: Centre sees silver lining


For the many hoping for improvement in the dismal power scene in Tamil Nadu, there is now light at the end of a long tunnel of resistance against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant near here.

The crowd under the protest-shamiana at Idinthakarai, close to the plant, is thinning.

Local fishermen and women’s groups have been providing the numbers for the relay protest fasts at Idinthakarai. While the fishermen fear the plant would destroy marine life, the women were brainwashed into believing that nuclear radiation would render them barren and their race extinct.

“On the 48th day of the relay fast today (Sunday), the turnout was just 150. At one time, we saw as many as 7,000 come in to squat along with their children. This senseless protest is fizzling out, at last,” gushed a senior official who has been monitoring the agitation.

The Vijayapathi panchayat, which includes Idinthakarai, had only a couple of days ago passed a resolution demanding that the plant be closed. However, the resistance against the plant is said to be thinning.

“The Catholic priests involved in this agitation are now getting ready for Christmas. The fishermen cannot afford to sit in strike because this is the peak fishing season. For the rest of the public, this is the season of festivals and marriages,” said another official, pointing out that on the other side of the hot fence, industry groups have been agitating for early resumption of work at the plant so that their power problems could be resolved.

Tamil Nadu is to get 925 MW from the 2,000 MW of power expected to be generated by the first two reactors of the Koodankulam plant, with two more reactors on the drawing board.

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