India today said it was actively working with Russia to find an alternative site to set up a new nuclear power plant after the West Bengal government refused to allow a nuclear plant to be constructed in Haripur.
Yes,we are working on finding an alternative site. You would appreciate that finding a place to locate a nuclear plant involves a lot of technical details and complex considerations. It involves lots of data and analysis. We are currently in the process of doing all this, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters today.
But he denied that the inability to secure an alternative site to locate the nuclear facility had anything to do with the rescheduling of Russian President Vladimir Putins visit to India,which is now supposed to begin on December 24.
There were indications earlier that Putins visit could happen towards the end of this month or sometime next month.
Akbaruddin said that under an agreement,India and Russia have been holding a summit-level meeting each year for the last 20 years,and the Russian leadership has always scheduled their visit in the month of December.
But he admitted that there were efforts to find earlier dates that were mutually convenient.
The dates are peripheral to the substance in the India-Russia relations, he said.
Haripur was one of the several places that the Indian government had identified for setting up nuclear power plants with the help of different countries.
The one at Haripur was to be constructed with Russian help. But following protests of local villagers in the area,the West Bengal government recently announced that it would not allow a nuclear facility to come up in that area.