Safe Tunnelling in a Water Rich Shear Zone in the Western Ghats Threat to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu Water Bodies from the India-Based Neutrino Observatory

Authors: VT Padmanabhan, Joseph Makkolil

How will the Indian Department of Atomic Energy construct the biggest underground science laboratory in the world in a sheer zone in the Western Ghats, without repeating the hydro-geological disasters encountered in Gran Sasso in Italy, Rohtang in the Himalayas and Velligonda in the Deccan Plateau? This question regarding the negative impact of tunnelling of the India-based Neutrino Observatory on the nearby aquifers and surface water bodies in Idukki-Theni districts of Tamil Nadu, raised through peer-reviewed science, web and print media has been in the air since September, 2012. The State Governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu ignored the issue and the Central cabinet has cleared the project. The first mega science project in India could have been launched after a detailed assessment of the short term and the long term impacts on the ecosystem. All reports should have been in the public domain, the pros and cons of the project should have been debated. This should have been followed by stakeholder consultancy at all levels. Without any of these, the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology have decided to bull doze the Western Ghats with a million kg of gelatine.

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[v1] 2015-01-14 04:24:42

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