Chennai : The ambitious project to set up the country’s first neutrino project suffered a blow on Monday with the National Green Tribunal (Southern Bench) in Chennai suspending the Environmental Clearance granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO). The project was to come up in Theni district in south Tamil Nadu.
The INO project is a multi-institutional effort aimed at building a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover of approximately 1,200 metres for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in the country.
Already politicians in Tamil Nadu led by MDMK leader Vaiko had opposed the project fearing environmental repercussions. Vaiko had during his arguments before the National Green Tribunal contended that the project if executed, would spell doom for Mullaiperiyar dam located in Idukki district of neighbouring Kerala.
After going through various arguments in favour and against the project, the NGT Southern Bench comprising Justice P Jyothimani and Expert Member P S Rao on Monday said, “In the light of new facts that have come to light during the arguments, it will be appropriate for us to keep the Environmental Clearance in abeyance.” It asked the project promoters to apply afresh for the Environmental Clearance.