Meghalaya govt awaits expert committee report on uranium project

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Shillong, Oct 16 (UNI) Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy today said the government was waiting for reports of the expert committee on health and environment to decide on open-cast Uranium mining in Meghalaya.

The Chief Minister informed this to leaders of the Langrin Warsan Lyngdoh Socio Economic and Development Organisation (WLSEDO), who urged him to give a green signal to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) to start mining project.

'' He told us that the government now is waiting only for the report of the two expert committees to decide on the project, '' WLSEDO president W V Myrthong told reporters after submitting a memorandum to Dr Roy.

WLSEDO was one of the premier organisations representing the villages of the proposed Uranium mining areas.

Urging the government to issue a No Objection Certificate to UCIL, WLSEDO felt that it was high time the government approved the uranium project to unlock the doors of oppurtunity to the neglected areas in Meghalaya.

'' It is the right of the people of the area (mining areas) to determine their own future and none can touch the right to property, '' Mr Marbaniang said, while pooh-poohing the anti-mining groups.

The UCIL had proposed a Rs 1046 crore open-cast uranium mining and processing plant at Mawthabah in the West Khasi Hills district of the state having an estimated deposit of 9.22 million ton of uranium ore.

However, the UCIL had failed to make any progress to convince the state government, political parties and anti-mining groups.

Recently, AEC chief Anil Kakodkar told anti-mining groups that uranium mining was safe and there was no fear of any health and environmental problems due to uranium mining.

'' We have advance technologies for safety performances in all the nuclear plants were at par with any international standard, '' Mr Kakodkar said.

Earlier, the Chief Minister had constituted an all party committee on uranium mining and formed two expert groups to study the implications of the proposed uranium mining.

The expert committee on health had already started its investigation and examined the physical health of the local residents in the area. The second independent group had also been formed with North Eastern Hills University (NEHU) Registrar D T Khating and former principal of Dhanbad School of Mining Prof B Dhar as its members.

Both these groups will submit the report to the all party committee.

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