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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Public hearing on nuclear project expansion postponed

The public hearing by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) at Tirunelveli District Collectorate on Friday on the proposed expansion of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project was postponed following a strong protest from people, mostly fishermen and farmers from Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts.

Terming the public hearing as a secret hearing, environmentalists and activists, who attended the hearing, charged the TNPCB with wantonly giving advertisement about the hearing a month ago in ‘Economic Times’, the readership of which in the three districts is very negligent, and the Tirunelveli edition of a vernacular press.

‘This is a blatant violation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 1994, according to which, a public hearing is to be conducted for any project with its total project outlay crossing Rs 50 crore, be notified in all vernacular dailies so as to let people in the vicinity of the project site, register their opinions if any,’ said the State committee member of Coastal Action Network (CAN) Jeeva.

The next objection was raised from the farmers in Vilavankode and Kalkulam taluks of Kanyakumari district and some parts of Radhapuram taluk in Tirunelveli district, located adjacent to Kanyakumari district, who depend on water from Pechiparai Dam for cultivation.

Former Killiyoor MLA Kumaradoss who was present on the occasion, said 11.27 million cubic metre water (30,891 cubic metre a day) was needed to meet the annual water demand (for domestic services, fire water make-up and chemical treatment) of the proposed expansion project. Drawing such huge amount of water from Pechiparai Dam could certainly affect the livelihood of the farmers, he added.

Source: NewInd Press

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