Koodankulam nuke protesters raise 50 queries

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Representatives of the anti-Koodankulam nuclear power project protesters presented a ‘questionnaire’, seeking answers to 50 questions, during the first meeting of the committees set up by the Central and state governments to resolve the stand-off, on Tuesday.

Emerging from the hour-long talks, held at the collectorate here between the 15-member experts committee set up by the Centre and the six-member state panel, two members of the anti-KKNPP movement described the talks as satisfactory.

Protesters’ representatives in the panel, Mr M. Pushparayan and Mr Jesuraj, told mediapersons that the questionnaire also sought various documents relating to the site selection, evaluation report and environmental safety analysis.

They demanded a white paper as contradictory opinions were being expressed about the safety of the plant. Mr Pushparayan wanted the government to clarify all this. “Our immediate request is that some sort of fear is in the minds of the people and it should be cleared,” he said.

Mr Pushparayan and Mr Jesuraj said they also sought to know the understanding reached between India and Russia on the issue of compensation in the event of an accident – not to be left in the lurch like the Bhopal gas victims.

According to Dr A.E. Muthunayagam, convenor of the Central government-constituted committee, the protestors’ representatives were very cooperative during the meeting.

Though no deadline was fixed to answer the questionnaire, Dr Muthunayagam hopes to do it as early as possible. When asked whether they would meet the people and the 21-member team constituted by the anti-KKNPP protestors, he said, “We are ready to meet anybody, anytime within our mandate.”

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