» 10/22/2013, 00.00
Tamil Nadu: controversial Kudankulam nuclear power plant begins operating
The Indian-Russian plant starts up just as Indian Prime Minister Singh and Russian President Putin meet in Moscow summit. For years, the project suffered delays, especially because of protests by local residents fearful that pollution caused by discharges might contaminate the Bay of Bengal.
(AsiaNews) - After years marked by delays due to technical problems and
protests by the local population, the nuclear plant at Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu) began
operating today. The
result of an Indo-Russian project, the plant started up just as India's Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in
Moscow to sign new agreements in the energy field.
in 1988, the Kudankulam project started only in 1997. Since then, it has been
long at the centre of protests that led to several delays.
According to residents
near the plant, the discharges from the reactors will kill fish and destroy the
marine ecosystem in the Bay of Bengal, the main source of income for many small
fishermen in the area.
At the beginning
of 2012, construction picked up steam. In
September of the same year, in Idinthakari, the epicentre of peaceful protests,
one of the many demonstrations turned into violent
clashes with the police, culminating in the death of a man and a girl, as
well as the desecration of a church.
The local church
has often been called to task by the authorities for stirring up demonstrations
and receiving funds from foreign NGOs.
Based on these
claims, the government of Tamil Nadu froze for a long period the bank
accounts of four groups, two of which are led by Mgr Yvon Ambroise, Bishop of Tuticurin.
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Tuticurin bishop calls for a stop to nuclear plant that endangers people
Mgr Yvon Ambroise criticises the Kudankulam station (Tamil Nadu) for its shortcomings and the government for its indifference. For about a year, 50,000 people are on a rotating fast demanding the plant be shut down. The Church backs them through its prayers. Growth and development are necessary but not at the cost of human lives.
Police violence against antinuclear protesters: two dead and a church profaned
The victims are a fisherman of 44 and a 6 year-old girl. The man was killed by a shot fired by the police, the little girl was crushed. A priest denounces the "atrocities" committed by police: attacks on unarmed and non-violent protesters; statues of the Madonna destroyed and desecrated.
Tamil Nadu, new Church and fishermen protests against the Koodankulam nuclear plant
The fishermen also want to unfreeze the bank accounts of the diocesan NGO run by Msgr. Yvon Ambroise, Bishop of Tuticorin. The government stops all funds, accusing them of finance anti-nuclear demonstrations with foreign money. The bishop sends a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek to resolve the situation.
Tamil Nadu: 200 people arrested, including a priest, in anti-nuclear protest
People peacefully demonstrate against the Kudankulam plant approved by the government. Jesuit priest says India needs nuclear plant. For him, it is crucial for "maintaining the energy security of India, reducing atmospheric pollution and gaining economic benefits". People must be educated on the matter.
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