Thiruvananthapuram: Communist veteran and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Monday asked both the central and Kerala governments to come clean on the proposed neutrino observatory coming up in the state's Idukki district and contiguous Theni in Tamil Nadu. The observatory, to study effects of the neutrino - an electrically neutral, sub-atomic particle - is coming up under a joint collaboration between the US department of nuclear energy and the Indian government.
Addressing reporters here, Achuthanandan said this is one of the many Indo-US projects that are coming up on the sly. "This is proposed to be set up underground in the Idukki-Theni locality. Parts of the underground structure are in Tamil Nadu and a huge portion is in our Idukki district. It's strange that while Tamil Nadu has been approached for sanction, so far none has approached Kerala. Everything seems to be kept under wraps," he said.
He said that the reason for setting up this underground observatory is to study the changes in bio-diversity here once the neutrino rays are fired from a US institution in Chicago to the proposed observatory here. "The secrecy of the whole episode is intriguing and nobody here is aware of this... we wish the Indian government to come clean on this. We are given to understand that the construction of the tunnel is expected to start soon," said Achuthanandan.
Achuthanandan asked both the central and Kerala governments to come clean on the proposed neutrino observatory.
"Why we are all worried is that this study and the proposed setting up of the observatory has been kept a highly guarded secret and even the Madhav Gadgil Committee (that studied the Western Ghats) or the apex court-appointed committee to look into the Mullaperiyar dam issue have been kept in the dark," he said.
"The centre should let us know what is the benefit of this experiment... the most serious concern is the presence of numerous dams in this specific area and hence this is really a cause for concern," he added.