Citizens' Issues
Uneasy calm in Kudankulam; protesters on relay fast

The year-long agitation, confined to Indinthakarai and nearby villages, spilled over to neighbouring Tuticorin district and was intensified after authorities announced loading of uranium fuel in the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu): An uneasy calm prevailed here on Tuesday with police tightening vigil as anti-nuclear protesters continued with their relay fast at Idinthakari, epicentre of protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), condemning the action against anti-KNPP activists, reports PTI.

 

Police said the situation was calm but they are keeping a strict vigil. "Security has been stepped up," sources said.

 

Sources close to SP Udhayakumar, convener of People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheading the protest against KNPP, said key leaders including him and Pushparayan, will court arrest by turning up at the Kudankulam Police Station tonight.

 

The agitation had turned violent yesterday when one person was killed in police firing when protesters tried to attack a police station at Manapad in Tuticorin district.

 

The year-long agitation, confined to Indinthakarai and nearby villages, spilled over to neighbouring Tuticorin district and was intensified after authorities announced loading of uranium fuel in the plant.

 

Police had also resorted to lathicharge and firing of teargas shells yesterday as the seashore in Indinthakarai village turned into a battlefield with clashes between protesters and police.

 

Slamming the police action, PMANE had yesterday launched a 48-hour relay fast against it.

 

A cameraperson of an English TV channel allegedly suffered injuries on the forehead during the melee in the police action. Channel authorities said a complaint has been lodged at the police station here.

 

Tirunelveli District Superintendent of Police V Bidari promised strong action by identifying the personnel involved in the alleged assault on the cameraperson..

 

Expressing solidarity with the protesters and condemning the police action, fishermen in southern districts are staying away from fishing today.

 

Situation in neighbouring districts is normal, according to police.

 

The anti-KNPP protest took a new turn when PMANE gave the call for a siege of the plant as a last-ditch effort to stall the Indo-Russian project after regulatory authorities gave their clearance for loading the uranium fuel in the first of the two reactors.

 

Around 4,000 security personnel, including Rapid Action Force, have been deployed in the area.

 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has defended the police action and appealed to people not to fall prey to the "designs" of anti-nuclear lobbyists and to maintain calm.

 

The first unit of KNPP was scheduled for commissioning in December last, but ran into trouble with locals demanding its scrapping on safety concerns.

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Mobile services in Rajasthan may get hit due to tower removals

Mobile operators are asked to remove all mobile towers and antennas installed on government and private schools in Rajasthan by the High Court

Jaipur: Mobile services in 40 towns across Rajasthan are likely to be partially hit as telecom companies are in the process of removing 199 mobile towers installed atop school buildings to comply with a court order in this regard, reports PTI.

 

"All the 199 towers having antennas of cellular companies which are installed on schools' buildings have stopped radiating after 9 pm on Monday. Services of cellular companies will be affected and it will take around 30-90 days to restore the full services in affected areas," Sudipto Chowdhary, CEO, Rajasthan, Bharti Airtel, told reporters.

 

He said overall 34 lakh mobile customers, including 25 lakh in Jaipur, will be affected by the process.

 

"The deadline is 9 pm Monday thereafter all such antennas will not radiate. Consequently, the quality of the services will be affected and the consumers may face inconvenience and disruption in using their mobility services," Chowdhary said on behalf of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), an industry body of mobile operators.

 

As per the order dated 22 August 2012 passed by Rajasthan High Court and a letter by State Education department, mobile operators are required to remove all mobile towers/antennas installed on government/private schools.

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COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

4 years ago

When will Maharashtra and others follow suit soon? Also, all must work at a practical, feasible solution on a national level as Prof Girish Kumar has given by reducing radiation power, increasing no. of cell towers, avoiding residential / human populated areas, more repeater stations, independent authority to periodically monitor the radiation in public domain. This may need some financial & logistic adjustments for the involved participants but it will in the end SAVE a lot of individual & governmental money to be spent on health.

NPCI to tie up with Airtel Money soon

Airtel Money customers can only transact between themselves but are not able to send or receive money from a bank account, which will be possible once the tie-up with NPCI is done

Mumbai: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has said it will soon forge a tie-up with mobile wallet provider in Airtel Money, launched by the country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, reports PTI.

 

Through the tie-up, which is expected to be sealed within two months, Airtel Money users can get integrated with the mainframe banking system, AP Hota, managing director and chief executive of NPCI said.

 

Till now, the non-banking mobile wallet companies have not come on the interbank mobile payment services (IMPS) platform even though the sector regulator RBI has given its nod.

 

"Airtel Money customers can only transact between themselves but are not able to send or receive money from a bank account, which will be possible once the tie-up is done," Hota said.

 

He said NPCI is already working with Airtel to make the necessary arrangements at the back-end systems and a formal launch will take a maximum of up to two months.

 

The IMPS already has 50 banks as members and also launched its merchant payment service today.

 

With the person-to-person money transfer service being the sole service till now, the IMPS witnessed 2.20 lakh transactions in August, Hota said.

 

The platform, which has the active support of various banks as well as the regulator, is targeting to take the monthly transactions to 10 lakh by March, Hota said.

 

Member banks have generated 39 million MMIDs or mobile user identifications among their account-holders and the number of transactions will grow rapidly once users get educated, Hota said.

 

For the merchants payment vertical, the IMPS has already tied up with a slew of merchants like IRCTC, LIC etc and will be adding more now on as the public launch is through, Hota said.

 

He also announced that the IMPS last week got life insurance giant LIC on board and added that the state-run insurer is looking at the platform to collect micro-insurance premiums.

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