Politics has for a while taken a centre stage at the Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, as almost all political parties in the state have joined hands to oppose the commissioning of the 2,000-Mw nuclear power project. Once more, it has become a major election plank—this time, during the campaigning for polls to the local body polls to be held next week.
As the election dates of October 17 and 19 near, both political parties and the people in the vicinity of the project site in downstate Tirunelveli district are not in a mood to relent. For the second consecutive day on Friday, more than 3,000 protestors—largely women—blocked all roads to the project site. They checked the entry to more than 900 engineers of Nuclear Power Corporation. Even so, Mumbai-headquartered NPC was successful in despatching a team of 100 engineers inside the plant early morning. None of the over 5,000 contract labours were able to get the entry into the plant premises.
Even so, the blockade of all roads have brought the operations at the project site to a grinding halt, but for some emergency operations like water and electricity supply, fire and first aid services. Heavy police bandobast, including black commandoes, has been deployed in the region around the project site, including NPC's residential colony, to avoid any untoward incident.
Incidentally, Tirunelveli district collector R Selvaraj and the inspector general of police Rajesh Das are personally supervising the situation and camping near the project site. Both also held series of meetings with an NPC team, led by site director M K Balaji, at the corporation's township situated about 10 km from the site. Ironically, Balaji, along with station director R S Sundar and project director R Banjerjee, is operating from the employees' colony. This is because they, too, were unable to enter into the site. The district administration has adopted a wait-and-watch policy and restrained from taking any stringent action against the protestors.
An NPC official, who did not wanted to be identified, hoped that the situation would be normalised shortly.