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Cabinet secretary to monitor Neutrino project conceived in 2010

This clearance has been pending for the last two-and-a-half years, the prime minister was informed by the Department of Atomic Energy at a review meeting last week.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2017, 01.39 AM IST
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Modi govt is not keen to shift the project out of TN, as has been speculated.
Modi govt is not keen to shift the project out of TN, as has been speculated.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has deputed cabinet secretary PK Sinha to remove all bottlenecks in the country’s most ambitious science project, a Neutrino Observatory in a 4,300-feet deep cave in Tamil Nadu’s West Bodi hills, on which work has not commenced despite a cabinet approval in 2015.

The Centre is not keen to shift the project out of TN, as has been speculated.

Last week, the prime minister had asked the stateg overnment to expeditiously process the proposal for environmental clearance from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for the project.

This clearance has been pending for the last two-and-a-half years, the prime minister was informed by the Department of Atomic Energy at a review meeting last week.

The prime minister has also asked the DAE to consider renaming the project from India-based Neutrino Observatory. The cabinet secretary will be monitoring all progress now.

The project on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border in Theni district involves studying atmospheric neutrinos, which are mass less particles that can unravel some of the unsolved mysteries of the universe. It was originally conceived under the UPA government in 2010, granted environment clearance by the UPA and was supposed to be completed at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore by 2015.

The Narendra Modi government gave a fresh lease of life to the project in 2015. The Madras HC has halted work without getting necessary clearance from the TNPCB. The National Green Tribunal has, meanwhile, put the earlier environmental clearance given by the Centre in abeyance and said a fresh application has to be made by the INO.
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