Despite the opposition by activists and environmentalists, the Centre is going to apply again for environmental clearance to set up the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) in Tamil Nadu.
The project is proposed to come up in Bodi West Hills of Theni district.
Sekhar Basu, secretary, Department of Atomic Energy told The Times of India that they have invested a lot into the project and already wasted about five to six years, so if they get the clearance, they will go ahead with the project or else they will drop it.
He added that they were in a conflicting situation, as they can neither ask the scientists to stop nor can they tell them what should be done about it.
The neutrino project had got environmental clearance in 2010 and had got approval from the Union ministry to commence operations in 2015, reported TOI.
But, in March 2017, the National Green Tribuanal (NGT) kept in abeyance the environmental clearance given to the India based Neutrino Observatory (INO) in 2010.
The south bench of NGT had asked the project to apply for a fresh clearance from the Union Environment ministry.
This came after a petition was filed by G Sundar Rajan of Poovulagin Nanbaragal. He claimed that the project was just 4.5km away from Mathikettan Shola National Park in Iduukki district in Kerala and one km away from the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border.
There were speculations that the project would be shifted to Andhra Pradesh from Tamil Nadu.
Sekhar Basu said that to change the site or to drop the project, they need clearances from higher authorities.
He also said that it is good that the scientists are looking for other sites.
INO project director Vivek Datar told TOI that they will take a decision on the alternate site in less than a month.