Tamil Nadu says no to Indian Neutrino Observatory project in Theni

What is the news?

The Tamil Nadu government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that it would not permit the construction of the proposed Indian Neutrino Observatory at Bodi West Hills in Theni district.

What is India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)?

The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is a proposed Pure-Science underground laboratory. Its primary goal is to study the properties and interactions of neutrinos.

The observatory is jointly supported by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science & Technology (DST) with DAE acting as the nodal agency. 

The proposed site of the observatory is in Bodi West Hills, in Theni district. The site is spread across Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Why is the observatory being opposed by the Tamil Nadu Government?

Firstly, the observatory, if constructed, will affect the flora and fauna of the Periyar Tiger Reserve and Mathikettan Shola National Park in the Western Ghats.

Secondly, the tunneling works for the proposed project involve blasting hard and composite rock in the Western Ghats. This would impact the conservation efforts in the Western Ghats.

Thirdly, the proposed site harbors many endemic species of flowering plants, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and invertebrates other than large numbers of elephants and tigers. 

Fourthly, the project area links the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala with Srivilliputhur Meghamalai Tiger Reserve. Quarrying and construction activities will upset wild animals which use the corridor for seasonal migrations.

Source: This post is based on the article Tamil Nadu says no to Indian Neutrino Observatory project in Thenipublished in Indian Express on 18th Feb 2022. 

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