New Delhi: Taking the tussle between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over Koodankulam Atomic Power Plant project to the next level, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has met Union Power Minister Veerappa Moily to demand an increased share from the project for Kerala. Citing that Kerala is going through a severe power crisis due to the weak South-West monsoon, Chandy has requested the Power Minister to raise the state’s allocation of power to at least 500 MW instead of the expected 266 MW as per the Gadgil formula.
Oommen Chandy and his team of ministers are in the capital on a two-day visit. According to Chandy, Moily agreed to examine the requests and “assured to do the needful within the overall frame-work.” Chandy’s meeting with Moily is in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s letter to the Prime Minister staking claim for the entire power produced at Kudankulam. Oommen Chandy has now written to Manmohan Singh demanding 500 MW for Kerala from the project. Chandy had also written a letter raising the same issues earlier.
The Kudankulam nuclear plant is expected to generate 2000 MW of power. The first unit is expected to be commissioned next month and the second unit is expected to start generating power a few months after the first unit. As per the Gadgil formula, Tamil Nadu should get 925 MW power from the two 1000 MW units and Kerala is eligible for 266 MW power. But now, Chandy has asked for 500 MW power citing the prevailing power shortage in the state. He has reportedly said that Kerala faces the same threat potential that Tamil Nadu faces from the Kudankulam plant in case of a disaster.
Oommen Chandy met Union Power Minister Veerappa Moily to demand an increased share from the project for Kerala.
It may be recalled that Aruna Roy, a member of the NAC, the UPA think tank headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had urged Kerala to up its ante against the plant as it could be equally harmful to the state. She had said that Thiruvananthapuram will be the first major city to be affected in case of an accident. “In addition, as Tamil Nadu meets a significant part of Kerala’s food requirements, ranging from vegetables, milk, poultry and meat, Kerala should be careful about the routine radiation risks of food items from the Kudankulam impacted area,” she added.
After giving the green signal to the Kudankulam nuclear power plant which remained stalled for several months following a protest by anti-nuclear activists, Jayalalithaa had demanded that the entire 2000 MW power to be generated by its two units be given to Tamil Nadu in view of the severe power shortage. In the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she had said that it would be ‘proper and justifiable if the entire power to be generated from the Kudankulam Plant is provided to Tamil Nadu.’
According to Kerala, Tamil Nadu is eligible only for 925 MW of the total power generated by the plant. Stating that KKNPP is a Central power generating station, Kerala argued that Tamil Nadu has no right to claim the whole electricity generated at Kudankulam.