In view of the amount of construction required for the project, activists have long warned the project’s environmental impact on the area.
The head of the Atomic Energy Department, the Federal Minister of State (independent) Jitendra Singh said in a parliament on Wednesday that the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO), a particle physics research project aimed at studying atmospheric neutrinos, will not affect nearby dams. And the village.
The INO project will be built in the reserve forest of Bodi West Hills in a 4,300-foot cave in the Ino Peak in Theni, Tamil Nadu. The project was approved by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF and CC) in March this year, even though activists have been warning the government of the environmental risks posed by the region and its people.
The construction site is close to the Mullaperiyar Dam on the Periyar River, shared by Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
In response to questions raised by Kerala MP Joy George on the first day of the monsoon meeting of the Parliament, Dr. Jitenda Singh answered.
In describing the status of the project, the Minister stated: “The project has obtained an environmental permit. The Wild Animal Clearance Application and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Committee (TNPCB) have been submitted. An 85-ton prototype mini ICAL detector has been built and Working at the IICHEP factory in Madurai.”
In the March 2017 order, the National Green Court noted the extent of ecological damage caused by explosives used to blast rocks to clean and construct the Observatory in the Bodi West Hills area.
In response to questions about whether the government noticed that the blasting under the project would last for several years to remove large amounts of rock, the Minister said: “Approximately 2 kilometers of tunnels and laboratory caves require controlled blasting and take about 3 years to complete. The vibration does not exceed the acceptable limit of less than 1 mm/sec, which is more than 200 m from the explosion zone. The total amount of excavated rock is approximately 230,000 m3, which is equivalent to removal from a similar length of railway or road tunnel. “
In relation to the study of the impact of neighborhood dams and Highell Power Projects, the Minister said: “The shock is reduced to hundreds of meters below the low temperature, and the bows, such as Wighai and Mullaperiyar, will be no more than 30 miles [30 km], of course, even the villages farther away cannot even feel shock.”
However, he did not provide any specific details of the research conducted.
In view of the heavy construction involved, environmental activists have long warned that no artificial earthquakes will occur in the area.
The Minister said: “An earthquake event is unlikely to occur at the INO site. However, earthquake monitoring must be carried out during construction as a sufficient precaution.”