The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL),operator of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu,told the Supreme Court on Thursday that it will ensure that human population residing in the exclusivity zone of the plant,if any,are paid adequate compensation and are properly relocated.
Although we deny that there is any human population in the 2-km exclusivity zone of the plant,we say that whenever such a representation is made,we will compensate them and look after their relocation and rehabilitation, Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman,appearing for the NPCIL,said.
The SG assured a Bench led by Justice K S Radhakrishnan after it asked him if the authorities had received any such complaint or representation regarding a dwelling in the exclusivity zone.
Nariman also countered a submission by advocate Prashant Bhushan,who appeared for the PIL petitioner,that a Tsunami rehabilitation colony existed in the exclusivity zone and was in fact at a distance of less than a kilometre from the plants dome.
It is incorrect and we will prove it by placing before the court documents and photographs, said the SG,who claimed that authorities had taken sufficient caution about the population within the 5-km sterilisation zone.
Nariman told the court it was ultimately a matter of experts and their fair opinion and the NPCIL has brought forth their consensual views on safety standards of Kudankulam plant.
Bhushan however requested the court to seek specific replies from the authorities on certain disputed facts on human population in different delineated zones,causes of protest and environmental clearances.
During the proceeding,the apex court also asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to explain if it was not necessary to take prior environment clearance for setting up a de-salination plant.
Can you say that for establishing a de-salination plant,no permission from MoEF is required? We cannot accept this contention per se. If that is so,anybody will set up a plant anywhere, the court asked ASG Mohan Prasaran and also told him to inform the court about the source of water required for the plant. The court will now hear the matter on November 6.