Koodankulam nuke plant is safe, reiterates Kalam
Kolkata, Nov. 14 (ANI): Former President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on Monday reiterated that the proposed nuclear plant at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli District is safe.
Kalam said the nuke plant at Koodankulam is technically advanced and would meet the power grid needs of the country.
"I had gone there and I was checking the plant and really it is a modern plant. 2000 megawatt ready to pump in the grit, okay. For power, we are hungry, the nation is hungry for power," he told mediapersons at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kolkata.
For many months, Koodankulam has been the epicentre of a wave of protests, with environmental activists and agitators voicing their ire at government apathy towards the dangers posed by nuclear energy.
Kalam had earlier this month submitted a 39-page report to the Central Government and the Government of Tamil Nadu that recommends ten steps for ensuring the safety and development of the Koodankulam nuclear plant and its surrounding areas.
Kalam's report suggests the building of four-lane highways, a desalination plant, construction of houses, schools, hospitals and cold storages to ensure that the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) is totally safe.
According to Kalam, his ten-point Koodankulam PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) programme should be implemented by 2015.
It involves an outlay of around Rs.200 crore and is aimed at benefiting Koodankulam and its 60 odd neighbouring villages.
The 39-page report has been authored by Kalam and his advisor V Ponraj.
The report also asks New Delhi to link Koodankulam and other villages in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here, with Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Madurai.
It also says that industries that can provide direct employment to around 10,000 people should be located within a 30-60 km radius of Koodankulam and youth should be given subsidised loans for starting their own business ventures.
The building of "green houses", apartments for people living along the shores of Koodankulam and neighbouring areas is also recommended.
Kalam, a former nuclear and missile scientist, has also suggested the setting up a one million litres per day desalination plant and also bringing water from Pechiparai dam for drinking as well as agricultural use.
The report also recommends the building of a 500-bed hospital in the Koodankulam area, setting up tele-medicine hospitals in all villages and two mobile hospitals with facilities to carry out diagnostic tests.
The setting up of five state board and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) stream schools with hostel facilities, provision of broadband connections and disaster management centre and provision of higher education with proper training to selected youth and placing them in a permanent job are the other suggestions.
According to the report, the government should also start other schemes in consultation with the local populace.
The government should take steps to allay fears of the people about the Koodankulam nuclear power plant by providing them proper information.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Koodankulam.
The first unit is expected to go on stream in December. The project is estimated to cost around Rs.13, 160 crore.
According to Kalam's report, Tirunelveli district is expected to attract an investment of around Rs.20, 000 crore following the setting up of the 4,000 MW nuclear power plant, which would give the state nearly 50 percent of the power produced. (ANI)
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