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Building clearance from TNPCB sought for neutrino project: PMO

Singh also stated that the INO project does not disturb the ecosystem around the site and does not release any radiation, as it does not have any radioactive substance. 

Published: 21st November 2019 04:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2019 04:58 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: In a major development, the Union government on Wednesday informed the Lok Sabha that building clearance for India-based Neutrino Project (INO) has been sought from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) along with wildlife clearance from National Board of Wildlife. 

This was revealed by Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, answering an unstarred question on the INO implementation status.”The INO project is in the process of getting clearance from the National Board of Wildlife. Based on recommendations by the Tamil Nadu Wildlife Authority, the INO Project Director has applied for building clearance (BC) at the Bodi West Hills site of the underground laboratory. The Environmental Clearance has already been obtained. Wildlife clearance and building clearance from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board is sought,” the minister said. 

Singh also stated that the INO project does not disturb the ecosystem around the site and does not release any radiation, as it does not have any radioactive substance. 

However, when contacted, Tamil Nadu authorities denied receiving any application from INO seeking building clearance. Environment Secretary Shambu Kallolikar told Express that no such application has been received. “Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, which is the project proponent, is yet to file the building clearance application with TNPCB. In fact, the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) is yet to approve the INO layout plan.” D Sekar, Member Secretary, TNPCB, has also denied it.   

Meanwhile, a senior forest official told Express that the INO project has not been appraised by Tamil Nadu Wildlife Board. For any project to get wildlife clearance from National Board of Wildlife (NBWL), the State wildlife board concerned, has to recommend it, which has not happened. On October 4, newly appointed Cabinet Secretary of India, Rajiv Gauba held video-conferencing with Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments, along with INO scientists, to iron out pending issues. 

Shambu Kallolikar said INO officials have been instructed to provide the complete layout plan of the project to Kerala. “After we receive final comments from Kerala, the State Wildlife Board of Tamil Nadu, which has the Chief Minister as chairman, will appraise the project and decide on recommending the project for the Standing Committee of NBWL,” he said.



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