Tamil Nadu Neutrino Project must seek fresh environmental clearance: NGT bench

The neutrino project is proposed to be a world-class underground facility to study fundamental particles called neutrinos. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published:March 21, 2017 10:20 am
At the Bodi West hills in Theni district, the site for the
neutrino observatory.

The National Green Tribunal has reportedly scrapped the Environmental Clearance (EC) from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) for the Rs 1,500 crore India-based Neutrino Observatory, which was proposed to be set up underground in Theni region of Tamil Nadu. According to a report published by The News Minute, the south bench of NGT has asked the project team to file for a fresh clearance from the Environmental Ministry. As per the reports, the decision by the bench has not pleased the scientist community who were pushing for the project in the Bodi west hills of Theni district.

The decision came after G Sundar Rajan of Poovulagin Nanbaragal filed a petition in the court claiming the the project is within 10 km from the boundary of areas which are protected under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, and hence requires a further study from accredited agency and hearing to get green nod, the New Indian Express reports. The NGT in its ruling further said the project requires another clearance from National Board for Wildlife as it lies near a national park.

The environmental body has not withdrawn any other clearance including the forest and land clearance, according to reports, saying the government of India has sanctioned land and funds to the project and hence they cannot be cancelled. The project was granted Rs 1,583.05 crore in January 2015 by the Central government.

Former Atomic Energy Commission chairman R K Sinha, speaking to Indian Express in January 2016, had said that the project holds no threat to the environment but is being opposed on “completely unscientific grounds”. “The project has been sanctioned and environmental clearance has been given, but opposition on completely unscientific grounds was launched by an individual. There is no reason to object, but having carried out false propaganda through the media, that individual now finds it difficult to back out though he has been convinced,” Sinha had said.

The ambitious INO project is proposed to be a world-class underground facility to study fundamental particles called neutrinos. Over 66 acres of land was sanctioned by the the Tamil Nadu government to the project for constructing the observatory and setting up accommodation facilities for the scientists.

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  1. C
    Mar 21, 2017 at 9:24 am
    Mr Scientist - you have to follow the Law and get requisite approvals for setting up project near wild life sanctuary.
    1. S
      Mar 21, 2017 at 12:57 pm
      People of Tamil Nadu are as ignorant about the Neutrino project as they are about the Hydro-carbon deposits. The NGO also appears to be foreign funded. Tamilians outside the state are more enlightened than the people in the state who still in the stone age. It is possible because the minds of the people had not developed as they were stated to be or the period when stone has appeared but the sand had not. These people have to come out of the stone Age in their mind.
      1. R
        Rajesh “மரத்தமிழன்”
        Jul 12, 2017 at 10:46 am
        Hi Mr.sankar...Even during the stone age itself we established high technological techniques in all fields which even now the entire world is researching on that. Even the scien s says that neutrino research will add lakh tons of dust particles in atmosphere. By this date you can see what is happening in kathiramangalam for Hydro carbon,even the ground water became yellow colour,very soon centre government will make the palce not fit to live by extracting hydrocarbon by pumping chemicals into the earth.It is very easy to say anything by sitting somewhere, but you people first come out of the advanced age(Since we are in stone age) where you nowhere can eat any technological developments or any other s,only water and food.