MADURAI: Social activist Medha Patkar on Sunday questioned the Centre for approving the India Based Neutrino Observatory’s (INO) alleged nuclear waste disposal project at Pottipuram, Theni, near Madurai Kamaraj University though the State’s Pollution Control Board had not cleared it.
She was addressing the media at the Tamil Nadu hotel before beginning her campaign along with MDMK general secretary Vaiko against the INO project as part of the Movement Against Neutrino (MAN) here on Sunday.
Seeking explanation from the Centre for allowing such a project with a huge environmental impact, especially at an ecologically fragile area of the Western Ghats, she asked, “how did the union government go ahead with granting approval when the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) had in its report categorically stated that it’s a nuclear project. The Western Ghats were declared as a World Heritage Site, and several conventions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) disallows any such development activity.”
“We would challenge the clearing authority legally unless the public got answers to their questions,” added the noted activist.
“The project may have a different purpose where the INO facilities in Madurai and Theni are going to be used as nuclear fuel processing plant,” Patkar said and added that the Centre’s silence on the possible dumping place for nuclear waste from Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant too was puzzling.
She said “We are not against science, industries and research but these cannot be allowed at the cost of livelihood.”