Kudankulam: Aide Hopeful Kalam Plan will Bring Peace

Chennai, Nov 11 (IANS): With the centre remaining silent over the 10 point plan suggested by former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the development of Kudankulam and surrounding areas in Tamil Nadu, his aide is hopeful of the government implementing the suggested schemes.

"We prepared the 39 page report on safety aspects and the importance of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) and incorporating the action plan for development of that area in Tamil," V. Ponraj, advisor to Kalam and co-author of the report, told IANS.

"The report is being translated into English which will be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Kalam will also speak to the prime minister after forwarding the report to him," Ponraj said.

Four-lane highways, a mega-desalination plant, construction of houses, schools, hospitals as well as cold storages are among the suggestions to the central government made by Kalam for the development of Kudankulam and its 60 odd neighbouring villages.

According to the report, Kudankulam PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) programme should be implemented by 2015. It involves an outlay of around Rs.200 crore.

After verifying the safety aspects of the two atomic power reactors being built at Kudankulam, Kalam had certified that they were safe.

He assured people not to nurture any fear about the safety of the plants and issued a detailed report.

While the central government has been citing Kalam's certification of the nuclear plant's safety, it is silent on the programme listed out by the former president.

India's nuclear power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam, around 650 km from here.

The first unit is expected to go on stream in December. The project is estimated to cost around Rs.13,160 crore.

The villagers fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident and the long-term impact it would have on the population.

The project work came to a standstill last month when agitators intensified their protest by blocking roads leading to the nuclear power project site.

According to Kalam's report, the government should allay fears of the people about the nuclear plant by providing them proper information.

Ponraj told IANS that the Kudankulam PURA schemes could be funded by the central government or the NPCIL while the state government will be the implementing agency.


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