September 19th, 2011
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Stop work at Koodankulam Nuclear Plant: TN CM

Koodankulam neuclear power plantChennai: Tamilnadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stop the ongoing works in the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant till the fears of the locals, who were on an indefinite fast for the last nine days, were allayed.

In a statement here, she said she had written to the Prime Minister urging him to stop the works immediately till an amicable solution was arrived at to address the fears of the locals who apprehended that their livelihood would be affected once the nuclear plant becomes operational. A copy of the letter written by the Chief Minister to the Prime Minister has also been released to the press.

Jayalalithaa said an all-party delegation headed by Finance Minister O Panneerselvam would meet the Prime Minister and submit a memorandum in this regard, she said, adding, she would also sign  the memorandum. She also appealed to the leaders of like-minded parties, and those who were on fast near the plant at Tuticorin and people’s representatives to sign the memorandum and be part of the delegation that would meet the Prime Minister to highlight the fears of the locals on the nuclear plant.

Considering the steps taken by her government respecting the sentiments of the people, Jayalalithaa appealed to the local people to call of their fast immediately. Accusing the Centre of failing to address the concerns of the locals before taking up the project, Jayalalithaa had a dig at Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan for washing her hands off the issue by stating that the project does not comes under her Ministry.

The Chief Minister also criticised Jayanthi for her irresponsible and casual remarks to the media that the officials would take steps in this regard. Jayalalithaa regretted that being a person hailing from Tamilnadu and holding a key portfolio in the Union Cabinet, Jayanthi had not made any concrete remarks to allay the fears of the locals on the issue.

Charging the Union government with shirking its responsbility, Jayalalithaa said at a time when the Centre-owned Nuclear Power Corporatation was implementing the project, the Centre, considering the indefinite fast launched by the locals, should have explained to the people on the safety measures put in place in the nuclear plant and allayed their fears. The Centre should have held talks with the locals, Jayalalithaa said and described it as unfortunate that the Union government had failed in its duty on the issue.


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