TN activists seek open debate on Kudankulam

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) officials said about 800 MW is pumped out of KKNPP


Shivani Chaturvedi | June 7, 2014

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu still remains controversial. With the NDA-led BJP agreeing to go ahead with the project, a section of people in Tamil Nadu demanded open debate on the power plant project.

M G Devasahayam, a retired civil servant and energy policy expert, who also heads the independent expert's panel supported by people's movement against nuclear energy (PMANE) in Kudankulam, has expressed serious concern over safety aspects of KKNPP. He said, “You don’t have many resources. Influenced peddlers are moss or less the same. People in Kudankulam have no voice.” 

However, a senior BJP leader L Ganesan said, “I don’t think there is any problem with the project. Those who have objected to it have vested interest.”  

“We have not gone commercial yet. But we are connected to the Southern Grid and whenever power is generated, a part of it goes to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and Karnataka. Andhra Pradesh never asked for power at the time when the agreement was signed, so we are not providing power to them,” said KKNPP site director R S Sundar.

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) officials said about 800 MW is pumped out of KKNPP.

 “If BJP wants to go ahead they should have a nation-wide discourse and analysis. There should be a review on what has been achieved so far in the nuclear programme in the past 50 years, how much money has been spent on the programme? The PM should here out from people who’re both pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear,” he said.  

Moreover, there should be a competitive bidding but nuclear power doesn’t come for a bid at all since the entire funding is subsidised. Bring nuclear power by all means but it should be under a competitive bidding. There shouldn’t be any secrecy behind it,” he added.

In an open letter to prime minister Narendra Modi, activist SP Udayakumar mentions, “The nuclear sector is rampant with corruption, inefficiency and mismanagement. The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is a case in point. The KKNPP administration has bought approximately 48 lakh liters of high speed diesel (HSD) for Rs 26.6 crores in just 11 months in 2013. In November 2013 alone, they bought HSD worth 4.4 crores. Our queries and Right to Information Act (RTI) petitions on the need for HSD for a nuclear power plant have gone unanswered. Similarly, the KKNPP administration has spent a whopping sum of Rs 5.2 crores for medical treatment of their employees for just 17 months (from January 2013 to May 17, 2014). This is only a tip of the iceberg and the government could do well for the country if you could institute an inquiry into the corruption and inefficiency of the department of atomic energy.”

Udayakumar further said, “Is there any kind of health issue that people residing here should have been cautioned of? The KKNPP authorities never alarmed people residing here about health issued because of the ongoing project.”



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