Expressing its angst over government’s dilly-dally attitude in ensuring complete safety at the Kundankulum nuclear power generation plant, the Supreme Court has warned that safety of the people should not be compromised under any circumstance.
The stern warning from the bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Mishra’s came when it learnt that Tamil Nadu government had been lethargic in setting up an effective mechanism for evacuation and rehabilitation of lakhs of people living near the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in case of any eventuality.
Saying that on the issue safety of the plant and people there can’t be any compromise, judges on Tuesday asked TN government about how and where it would shift the people in case there’s some mishap.
Seeking details of the state’s plan on shifting of the people in distress, their lodging and other requirements such as clothing, the court slammed the state saying it has neglected all these basic aspects. “Your (state) attitude seems to be lethargic…we want seriousness from you,” the bench told state’s additional advocate general Guru Krishna Kumar.
On his part, Prashant Bhushan, who is a counsel for a petitioner that has sought strict compliance of the safety measures, wanted the state to be serous. “The state needs to be both serious and earnest in its actions,” Bhushan said. The inconclusive hearing is related to the petitions seeking an order restraining the Centre and state from executing the KNPP I and II before all safety measures are put in place including the 17 measures recommended by the Task Force set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited .
Bhushan pleaded that it’s already four and a half month since Madras high court had asked the state to conduct emergency evacuation drills in all the 40 villages within 16 Km radius of the KKNPP but this order hasn’t been complied with so far. Judges also cautioned the state against any complacency and said if the state has not provided safety measures then the court may have to issue directions for it.