Chennai: The state government has appointed R. Radhakrishnan, deputy secretary to environment and forest department, as a nodal officer to coordinate and follow up with the Central government on all important projects, proposals and issues pending with the Centre.
In a communication, principal secretary, Shambhu Kallolikar has stated that Radhakrishnan would operate a new web portal with Projects and Proposals Monitoring System (PPMS) developed and integrated with Tamil Nadu web portal, Tamil Nadu House, New Delhi, on behalf of this department.
Kallolikar has requested the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, the Director of Environment and Member Secretary, TNPCB, to render assistance to the nodal officer and to co-ordinate and follow up with the Central government on all important projects, proposals and issues pending with the Centre.
It may be noted that several important proposed multi crore projects including -Neutrino Observatory (INO), a major science project of the country, was set to come up in Theni, hydrocarbon project in Delta region, Chennai-Salem Eight Lane Highway Green Field Project in the state and expansion of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, in Tirunelveli.
The project involves setting up infrastructure to study atmospheric neutrinos produced by cosmic rays in a 1m200 metres deep cave under a mountain. The INO project aimed to create a national underground laboratory facility, a neutrino telescope, using a collaborative network of institutes and scientists. The underground laboratories proposed to be set up at the base of the Bodi hill in Theni. In 2015 Central government approved an expenditure of Rs. 1,500 crore for the project and State Government granted the lands in Theni district for the underground laboratory facility and Madurai for setting up of an Inter-Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics (IICHEP).
The environmental activists were vehemently opposed to it fearing the damage it will cause to the surroundings. In November last year, NGT passed an interim order staying the project. Similarly, farmers were opposed to hydrocarbon project in Delta region, Chennai-Salem Eight Lane Highway Green Field Project in the State. Environmental activists also opposed to expansion projects in Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant....