CHENNAI, May 31, 2012, The Hindu


Wants consent order for operating plant issued only after this is done

A fishermen’s welfare organisation has filed a public interest litigation petition in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Member-Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) here to inspect the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project site along with experts, and later issue the consent order for operating the plant.

The order should be issued only after the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) of India complies with all mandatory requirements, Fisherman Care of Old Pallavaram here stated in its petition.

It had been reported in the media that fuel filling operations in the power plant would commence soon. The board, by an order of February 2004, had issued a consent order to the NPC authorising it to establish the plant. The consent was valid for two years or till the industry obtained consent to operate under Section 25 of the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, whichever was earlier. The Board had earlier stipulated several conditions.

The petitioner said that from the reply of April 2 this year under the RTI Act, it was clear that the TNPCB had not given consent for operating the plant. It also came to be known that the Member-Secretary had not inspected and verified whether all safety measures as required in the conditions stipulated in the consent order of 2004 had been implemented.

The petitioner said some of the conditions had not been complied with. One condition was that adequate number of coastal water quality monitoring stations should be set up. But, the compliance report states that coastal water quality was being monitored by the Environmental Survey Laboratory.

Another condition was that precautionary measures should be taken in transportation, handling and storage of radioactive fuel and wastes and spent fuel. The NPC had stated that it “will be complied”.

The petition has been posted for hearing after the court’s summer vacation.