New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (MoS) for Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh, said today in Parliament that the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is being planned in the Theni district in Tamil Nadu. There has been opposition from some sections of the local populace.
INO has been conducting outreach programs in & around Madurai and Theni for students in schools & colleges, for faculty as well as journalists and media professionals. A large outreach program took place during May-August 2018 covering other towns in Tamil Nadu and a few in Kerala.
Many students, faculty and members of the public have visited the INO transit campus where an 85 ton mini-ICAL detector is operational detecting naturally occurring cosmic ray muons. This is a much smaller version of the detector that is planned in the cavern at the end of a 2 km horizontal tunnel at the INO site.
In June 2010, a public meeting, though not mandated by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), was called by the Theni Collector. It was attended by about 1,200 local people, including the Panchayat President, who endorsed the project.
All the statutory norms and regulations are also followed in implementing the INO project. The INO site is not in the Eco Sensitive Area as identified by the High Level Working Group (HLWG) chaired by Dr. Kasturirangan and referred to in the MoEF Notification F.No.1-4/2012 – RE (Pt.) dated 13-11-2013.
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.