Chennai, Sep 14 (IANS) India's atomic power plant operator NPCIL has spent Rs.3.28 crore towards public relations exercise for its Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) since 2003-04, but it did not spend a single rupee in 2010-11, an anti-KNPP activist said Saturday.
"The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has spent over Rs.3.28 crore till July 2013 towards public relations campaign like printing of pamphlets, booklets, treating visitors with food and beverages, advertisements and others," M. Pushparayan, a leader of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), told IANS.
He was citing a reply dated Aug 24, 2013, by the NPCIL to questions filed by PMANE co-ordinator S.P. Udayakumar in July.
According to the NPCIL, the company spent Rs.10,120 on public relations exercise in 2003-04 and the amount jumped to Rs.4,08,756 in the next fiscal. The expenditure came down for the next three years.
During 2009-10, the NPCIL spent Rs.57,757 towards public relations and in 2010-11 the spend was zero.
However, the spend zoomed to Rs.1.99 crore in 2011-12 and again came down to Rs.83 lakh and Rs.30.98 lakh for the succeeding two fiscals.
Curiously, the NPCIL's spend under the public relations head came down when the anti-KNPP stir spearheaded by PMANE was at its peak in 2011-12.
The NPCIL, is setting up the project in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai, with two Russian-made reactors of 1,000 MW each.
The KNPP is an outcome of the inter-governmental agreement between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988. However, construction began only in 2001.
Fearing for their safety in the wake of the nuclear accident in Fukushima in Japan in 2011, villagers in the vicinity of the Kudankulam plant, have been opposing the project under the PMANE banner.