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Koodankulam nuclear plant impasse ends
TN Govt to pass resolution to halt project

Chennai, September 21
The 11-day hunger strike against the Koodankulam Nuclear Plant ended today after the Tamil Nadu Government promised to pass a resolution in the Cabinet to halt the project even as the Centre sought to allay fears over safety.

The end to the agitation came during a meeting between a delegation of the core group of protesters and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa here.

"The Cabinet will be convened tomorrow and it will adopt a resolution (urging the Centre) not to go ahead with the works on the plant site till the people's fears are removed," a state government statement said.

Assuring the delegation that she would talk to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his return from the US on September 27, she said a delegation headed by Finance Minister O Panneerselvam will also submit a memorandum to him, it said.

"The Chief Minister has requested us to call off the fast and we are doing it," SP Udhaya Kumar, convener of the People's Movement against Atomic Power who is spearheading the stir, told reporters while announcing the end to the hunger strike.

Kumar said that despite the withdrawal of their fast, "we will continue to keep up the pressure on the Centre" to scrap the project, set to be commissioned in December, a decade after work on it began.

The stir ended after Prime Minister's emissary, Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy, met protesters in Tirunelveli district yesterday. He briefed Jayalalithaa this morning besides conveying Manmohan Singh's message on the issue to her.

Narayanasamy assured her on behalf of the Centre that there would be no compromise on the safety aspects of the project, an official release said in New Delhi.

He briefed the Prime Minister about his talks before Manmohan Singh left for New York, it said.

Meanwhile, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy today said the Koodankulam nuclear project in Tamil Nadu should not be scrapped or seriously truncated under any circumstances. In a statement, Swamy also said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should take a firm stand on the issue and that the project should be allowed to go ahead.

Karuna welcomes withdrawal of fast

Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi today welcomed the withdrawal of the 11-day-old fast by anti-Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project agitators and said the Centre and state governments should ensure that the assurances given to them were fulfilled.

Assurances should be kept in order not to “disappoint” the people, he added. — PTI





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