Chennai:  The Madras High Court on Friday gave its nod to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), clearing the decks for the fuel loading and commissioning of unit 1 of the controversy-hit Indo-Russian project.

Dismissing a batch of petitions challenging commissioning of units 1 and 2 of KNPP, a division bench comprising justices P Jyothimani and M Duraiswamy said the project did not suffer from any infirmity for want of any clearance from any authorities.

"There is absolutely no impediment to proceed in units 1 and 2 of KNPP," the bench said in its order, which was keenly awaited for loading the real fuel in the 1,000 MW unit 1.

The court also said the Union and Tamil Nadu governments shall oversee the plant continuously and take steps to protect the interests of the people and fishermen in the area.

Besides undertaking awareness schemes, the state government should establish a multi-speciality hospital and schools with hostel facilities for locals and children, give financial assistance for the fishermen in the area to have mechanised boats and provide port and cold storage facilities to store fish catch.

The Collector of Tirunelveli, the district in which plant is situated, should ensure off-shore safety drills regularly involving the public, it said.

Another bench comprising justices P Jyothimani and P Devadoss dismissed a petition challenging the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)'s clearance for loading real fuel in the plant.

(Agencies)

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