Denying the charge that officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had not inspected the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant, the board submitted in its counter-affidavit stating that its engineers inspected the project site at Idinthakarai twice this year. In a public interest litigation challenging the project, Fishermen Care, through its president LTA Peter Rayan of Old Pallavaram, had alleged that TNPCB officials had not made any personal inspections.
The counter stated that the allegation was wholly incorrect and misconceived. The district environmental engineer and assistant engineer of Tirunelveli inspected the plant on May 8 and June 12 last, it said.
During inspection, plant officials furnished details of the compliance of stipulated conditions and the same were verified on the field by officials. The plant had complied with all requirements as stipulated in the general and special conditions, it said.The Emergency Preparedness Manual had since been approved by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in Mumbai and the same had been reported in the compliance report dated June 7 last. The plant had also conducted a mock drill to assess its emergency preparedness. The counter also added that the plant was not dependant on ground water, as was alleged by the petitioner.
On the other hand, sea water was used for the entire plant. The apprehension that dependence on fresh water supply alone could trigger an accident was wholly incorrect.The plant had established an environmental survey laboratory specially intended to monitor the quality of water on land, in sea and air quality and radioactivity in 2004 and the plant had periodically been monitoring the parameters, the counter added. Arguments on the petition are expected to continue before a division bench comprising Justices P Jyothimani and M Duraiswamy on Wednesday.