Govt must get consent of people on uranium: Kyndiah

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Shillong, Jul 7 (UNI) Union Tribal Affairs Minister PR Kyndiah today iterated his stand that the Meghalaya government must take into confidence the people's sentiment before proceeding further with uranium mining.

''Though uranium is a national asset, no government should take any step against the will of the people. The government must get their consent,'' Mr Kyndiah said.

The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) had planned to develop open cast mining for production of 375,000 tonnes of uranium deposits at Kylleng-Pyndeng-Sohiong village and a processing plant at Mawthabah in West Khasi Hills district. Uranium ore deposits there have an average grade of 0.085 per cent.

It also offered an economic package for all round socio-economic development of the area.

Despite all commitment, the UCIL has failed to drum up support for the project, with several NGOs and anti-mining civil and human rights groups opposing it, citing human safety and environmental hazard due to radiation.

However, the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance has decided to allow mining of uranium provided the UCIL can convince the people of the state that there will be no ill-effects of uranium mining.

Chief Minister Donkupar Roy had even constituted an All Party Committee to reach a consensus on the matter.

Dr Roy would meet leaders of all political parties on July 12.

''Until the people are convinced, the decision on uranium mining has to be kept in abeyance,'' Mr Kyndiah opined.

UNI RRK PL KLC1621

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