CHENNAI, september 20, 2011
The sensitivity shown by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her “sensible position” on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project should translate into the adoption of a resolution by the State Cabinet recommending the closure of the nuclear plant, social activist Medha Patkar said on Tuesday.
Talking to reporters on behalf of the National Alliance of People’s Movements here, Ms. Patkar, who visited the protesters on fast at Idinthakarai near Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, said that people would continue their protest until the Cabinet passed the resolution.
Asked how she would address the perception that closing down the plant would mean loss of hundreds of crores of rupees already spent, she said one should not count this project in terms of money because it involved human lives and natural resources. “It teaches a lesson. Going further will result in further waste of money.” She said that the 17 to 18 per cent transmission loss in Tamil Nadu and 30 to 40 per cent loss in other States also constituted colossal waste of money.
She said if West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could stop the Haripur nuclear power plant, the project at Kudankulam could also be halted. Stressing that no one was against any power project if it was not destructive, Ms. Patkar said full information about nuclear power plants was not available.
While thanking Ms. Jayalalithaa for writing to the Prime Minister seeking a halt on the project work until people’s fears were allayed, she said the issue should not be seen “as a battle between Jayalalithaa and (Union Environment Minister) Jayanti Natarajan, but as a battle between people and the State.”