Kudankulam verdict: for this village, renewed protests or tacit acceptance

Idinthakarai, Tamil Nadu:  Just minutes after the Supreme Court's nod to the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, sounds of gongs resonated through the Idinthakarai village. It was a call for the residents to gather at the local church to explain the top court's verdict and its fallout.
 
For almost two years, this non-descript coastal village, barely a 35-minute drive from the Kudankulam plant, has served as the nucleus of struggle against the controversial plant. At the heart of these protests are fishermen who are fighting for their livelihood.
 
The man who has led them in this fight today told NDTV that he had expected this verdict. "The court has let down the people of this country. The Kudankulam Atomic Plant is not an example of sustainable development, rather symbolises disastrous development," SP Udhayakumar said before addressing the villagers. Mr Udhayakumar is the convenor of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) that is spearheading the campaign against the plant.
 
He was referring to today's Supreme Court ruling that said the nuclear power plant was in larger public interest. But villagers and activists have disagreed, citing safety concerns, drawing parallels to the Fukushima disaster in Japan, triggered by a massive tsunami.
 
The reaction among the locals to the verdict has been mixed with some even beginning to wonder if their agitation will ever yield results. A final decision on the future course of action will be taken on Thursday. But Mr Udhayakumar is hopeful that that the fight will only grow stronger.
Story First Published: May 06, 2013 22:29 IST

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