NGO tells govt to ask Independent experts to study uranium

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Shillong, Aug 28 (UNI) The Langrin Youth Welfare Association (LYWA) today demanded that an independent expert body be formed to assess the overall impact of the proposed uranium mining in Meghalaya.

'' We wanted the government to institute an independent expert team to study the impact on the post exploratory mining of uranium in Domiasiat areas,'' LYWA leader Andreas Lyngdoh told reporters today, reiterating the association's opposition to uranium mining.

'' The uranium mining in the area would create health hazard as well as large-scale displacement of people,'' he said, adding that about 30,000 people would be displaced by the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) before the start of mining operation.

The Association said the uranium project would also affect the land usage system in the region.

'' Landed property owned by the indigenous people cannot be denied and forfeited either by the state government or the Centre,'' Mr Lyngdoh added.

The UCIL has proposed to develop an opencast uranium mining and processing plant at Mawthabah in the West Khasi Hills district of the state, which has an estimated deposit of 9.22 million tonnes of uranium ore.

However, the mining company since 1992 has failed to convince the state government, political parties and anti-mining groups due to apprehension of radiation-related health hazards, despite union government revised the project estimate for three consecutive times.

At present, the Union government has sanctioned Rs 1046 crore for the project.

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