Chennai/New Delhi: Around 2000 anti-Nuclear activists were arrested close to the Tamil Nadu Assembly in Chennai as they protested against the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in the south-east of the state. The planned protests coincided with the Tamil Nadu government moving Supreme Court against the Centre, to find a solution to a crippling power shortage in the state.
The petition says that the 1070 MW power that Delhi has surrendered to the central grid should be given to it. Quoting the Electricity Act, the state has also asked the Centre to provide a transmission corridor for interstate transmission of power.
The state is short of 4000 MW of power presently. Most districts in the state have been suffering from as many as 16 hours of power cuts a day. Along with the common people, the industry too has been severely hit. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has also complained that she had written to the Prime Minister for help, but received no response.
The state is looking at bridging some of its demand-supply gap when the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam starts operations by the end of this year. Ms Jayalalithaa has demanded that the entire production of 1000MW from the nuclear plant be given to Tamil Nadu, but this is unlikely.
The anti-nuclear protests picked up after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The protesters, mostly local farmers, fishermen and villagers, have demanded that the plant be removed, fearing a similar situation. However, the Supreme Court has given the go-ahead to activate the plant and the process is underway.