Thousands of fishermen Saturday blocked the approach channel to the Tuticorin Port with their boats to protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), said an activist.
“Fishermen in more than 2,000 boats blocked the channel in the morning protesting against the nuclear reactor at Kudankulam. Each boat on an average has four persons,” J. Jones, a protestor, told IANS from a boat near Tuticorin Port around 600 km from Chennai.
A Tuticorin Port official told IANS that the fishing boats went away in the afternoon after some slogan shouting.
“The port operations were not affected as we had made proper arrangements. No ship movement was affected because of the blockade at the approach channel,” he said, not wanting to be named.
According to Jones, fishermen in Tuticorin have not been fishing in protest against the police cane-charge on the anti-KNPP protestors in Kudankulam Sep 10.
At Idinthakarai village in Tirunelveli district, people formed a human chain protesting against the nuclear reactor, said M. Pushparayan, a leader of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).
“On Sep 25 we plan to hold a demonstration outside central government offices across the state. And on Sep 27, we have invited leaders of political parties and social organisations to Idinthakarai to participate in our protest,” S.P. Udayakumar, coordinator of PMANE, told IANS.
India’s atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW reactors with Russian help at Kudankulam since 2001.
Villagers under the PMANE banner have opposed the project for the past one year, fearing for their safety, especially since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan March 2011.
The NPCIL has started loading the first reactor with enriched uranium fuel bundles numbering 163 in the first reactor following the nod given by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) Tuesday.