Govt suspects foreign hand behind Kudankulam protest, launches probe

via PTI published on December 22, 2011

Suspecting foreign hand behind protests against Kudankulam nuclear plant, the government has launched a probe into functioning of six NGOs in Tamil Nadu and a notice has been issued to them seeking explanation of utilisation of funds received from abroad.

Racing against time to operationalise the nuclear plant built with Russian help at the cost of around Rs 14,000 crore, the government is also undertaking an aggressive campaign to allay fears of the locals over the project.

Government sources said there are suspicions that the protests are being fuelled from outside the country and an investigation by the IB has been initiated to look into it.

“Money has been flowing into the protests. We have been inquiring this aspect for some time now,” a source told PTI.

The Home Ministry has sent notices to six NGOs, based in Tuticorin, asking them to explain the utilisation of the funds received under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, the source said without identifying these NGOs.

“Without money, how can they sustain the agitation for 100 days?” the source asked.

The government, at the same time, admits that there has been a “communication gap” with locals who have fears on account of the nuclear plant being built in their area, particularly after the radiation scare at Fukushima in Japan.

“The communication gap is being used by people who want to create mischief,” the sources said.

To address it, the government is undertaking an aggressive campaign to create awareness among the public on the safety of nuclear plants in the country.

The sources said apprehensions on the safety of the Kudankulam plant were unwarranted as it has been designed with a four-stage safeguard system to weather all kinds of eventualities, including tsunami.

These include keeping the power generators at appropriate height, additional power back-up and better cooling mechanism through pumping in of water from outside.

The official pointed out that all 20 nuclear reactors in the country were functioning very well without any problems since their establishment.

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