With the commissioning of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project expected by the month-end, anti-nuclear activists stepped up their protests and laid a siege to the plant from the sea today.
Coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, the protesters including fishermen, laid the 'sea siege' positioning themselves in about 200 boats 500 metres away from the plant.
The protesters led by People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) coordinator S P Udayakumar, waved black flags and shouted slogans demanding scrapping of the controversial Indo-Russian plant.
However,reports said response to the protest from fisherfolk was lukewarm fisherfolk compared to the earlier ones.
This the third such protest by the anti-nuclear activists who are insisting on shutting down of the plant and withdrawal of cases filed against them.
Talking to reporters, Udayakumar said the nuclear plant issue would be made a discussion point in the next Parliamentary elections.
Charging the government with going ahead with the project despite strong protests from people, he said "they (government) say we will not honour Supreme Court and people's sentiments and will go ahead. It will not happen in a democracy. We will not allow it to happen".
A large posse of police in addition to several companies of CRPF and CISF has been deployed to keep a vigil in and around the plant.
The first unit of the project with capacity to produce 1000 MW was scheduled to be commissioned in December last year but had been delayed due to protests by locals on safety concerns.
Minister of State in the PMO, V Narayanasamy said yesterday in Tirunelveli that Atomic Regulatory Board officials were still inspecting the plant. A meeting of the Board officials was held on December 3, and order for commencing power generation would be issued before this month-end.