Chennai: Leaders of fishing community from three districts in Tamil Nadu have asked the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) to carry on its protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) and the beach sand mineral mining companies, said an activist.
"We have been asked to carry on our protest against Kundankulam nuclear plant and the beach sand mineral mining companies by the fishing community from Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts," M. Pushparayan, a PMANE leader told IANS Monday.
The PMANE leaders have decided to meet Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa to apprise her of the developments in the region.
PMANE claims that both KNPP and the beach minerals mining companies offer freebies and handouts.
"The three districts' community leaders are very clear in opposing both these anti-nature and anti-people operations and bring their omissions and commissions to the attention of the chief minister and the leaders of the various political parties in Tamil Nadu," PMANE said in a statement issued late Sunday night.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.
The first unit attained criticality, which is the beginning of the fission process, for the first time July 13.
The NPCIL had earlier said it would connect the first unit to the grid end-August, generating 400 MW power.
But that did not happen due to some hiccup in the systems.
The Tamil Nadu government last month announced that it would take a policy decision on mining of beach sand minerals after surveying the mines in Tirunelveli, Madurai, Kanyakumari and Tiruchirapalli districts.
A team had surveyed the mines in Tuticorin district and had submitted its report to Jayalalithaa last month.
The survey was conducted after Tuticorin district administration inspected the sand quarries in Vaippar and Vembar villages in the district on complaints that a mining company with a permission to mine in four hectares has been mining in 30 hectares.
Around 230,000 tonnes of beach sand minerals have been quarried in Vaippar village without permission from the government, according to officials.
According to PMANE, anti-social elements have been hurling country bombs incessantly in and around Idinthakarai village during nights.
"The sand barons create the impression that they provide jobs to a lot of people but the fact of the matter is these private profiteering mafia-like companies provide hardly 5,000 jobs that include mostly manual labourers and drivers," PMANE said.