CHENNAI: Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seems to be going all out to push the ambitious India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project in Bodi West Hills in Theni district in Tamil Nadu.
Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh on Wednesday categorically said the project will not have any adverse impact on nearby dams such Vaigai and Mullaperiyar in neighbouring Idukki district of Kerala.
However, he did not present any evidence of ground truth or study carried out to substantiate his claim. He was replying to a set of questions raised by Kerala parliamentarian from Idukki district Joice George during the ongoing monsoon session of Lok Sabha.
Mullaiperiyar dam is located in Idukki district and Kerala has opposed INO project fearing that the blasting carried out during the implementation phase would damage the 120-year-old dam. Putting-up an unstarred question, George asked whether the government had conducted any study regarding the impact of NO construction to nearby dams and hydel power projects.
In reply, Singh claimed a study was conducted but did not reveal the details. “The vibrations reduce to negligible levels beyond a few hundred metres. Dams such as Vaigai and Mullaperiyar which are about 30 km away will not be affected. In fact, these vibrations will not even be felt in the nearby villages which are a few kilometres away,” the minister said. Singh also ruled out the possibility of seismic events triggered by work at the UNO site.