Koodankulam – Divide Christians & Rule? *Koodankulam nuclear plant to open soon?

March 12, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Head of the Evangelical Church of India Bishop Ezra Sargunam

Bishop Ezra Sargunam, ECI says Christians have not misused funds

Tamil Nadu, March 10, 2012: Archbishop A M Chinnappa, president of the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, urged the prime minister to stop harassing the Christian community and withdraw the negative injunctions issued against Tuticorin diocese and grant appropriate relief.

Rev. Dr. P.B.M. Basaiawmoit, Vice President, NCCI, expressing solidarity says, “We are one with those who have been victimised through freezing of FCRA account which is simply witch hunting in the wrong place. The people have openly declared that they had collected from among themselves donation to sustain the movement against operating the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and yet Government of India, viz. Hon’ble PM has apparently found links with US and Scandinavian countries. As the KNPP is an Indo-Russia Joint Venture, it is bound to have geo-political ramifications. However, I can’t seem to find the logic of tragetting Christians and Churches in  India. Don’t we have a right to dissent ?”

The Church South India (CSI) moderator G. Davakadasham said the Catholic Church’s claims are “not totally true” as his Protestant Church, which also does a lot of charity work, has not faced governmental pressure. As far as the Koodankulam project is concerned, both the public and nation’s interest should be protected,” CSI Moderator added.

According to sources, all the 22 bishops of the CSI had met in Chennai on February 14 to discuss the Koodankulam controversy and decided not to take a stand on the issue. “We discussed the on-going protests against the Koodankulam project. Bishops from south Tamil Nadu expressed their support for the protestors. But a few other bishops did not accept the argument. So we did not take any stand on the issue,” said a bishop, who attended the meeting.

Head of the Evangelical Church of India Bishop Ezra Sargunam reportedly said. “To be fair, the government has initiated many policies for the minorities. At the same time I don’t believe that the Christian missionaries misused funds,” he said.

Koodankulam nuclear plant to open soon?

 

Koodankulam nuclear plantTamil Nadu, March 12, 2012: The controversial Koodankulam nuclear power plant will be opened soon as the project’s safety audits have been completed, a government official announced today.

“The expert committees have done their job. Safety issues have been addressed. I am hopeful of moving forward,” said Srikumar Banerjee, secretary of the department of atomic energy.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India says the projects’s two units are “99 percent and 94 percent” ready and its first unit can be up and running in six to eight weeks.

Banerjee said it will not be easy to outline a timeframe, but the process of loading fuel can get underway once the atomic energy regulatory board is consulted.

While the expert group set up by the Tamil Nadu government is yet to submit its report, the state government is more supportive of the project being commissioned.

Observers see the recent action against NGOs as a precursor to the government’s determination to open the plant. The government ordered the freezing of bank accounts of four NGOs and sent notices to 77 others for allegedly diverting overseas funds to support the protest against the nuclear plant. Two NGOs belong to Tuticorin diocese.

The prolonged standoff at the plant site had led to a 100 staff being allowed to access the project site in two batches daily.

This has made keeping the plant in running order difficult as a nuclear installation cannot be switched off in the manner of a conventional factory.

The plant needs to be tended to by 3,000 workers, scientists and technicians to get it going.

Banerjee said that the plant will generate power after the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board will lay down guidelines.

– ucan

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