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Clouds over Kakodkar's Meghalaya visit

By Staff
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Shillong, May 6 (UNI) Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr Anil Kakodkar's visit to the uranium mining site in the West Khasi Hills district was dogged by uncertainty, as the state government was on the backfoot in face of stiff resistance by the Khasi Students Union (KSU) and other NGOs opposing uranium mining in the state.

Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh yesterday informed the media that the state government would request the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) to postpone the foundation stone laying programme for the Wahkaji-Mawthabah road, which would facilitate mining activities in the district.

Dr Kakodkar was scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the road on May 9 during his visit to the mining site.

The government decided to urge the UCIL to postpone the event to prevent law and order problems, said Mr Lyngdoh.

Several NGOs from the West Khasi Hills earlier decided to organise a demonstration at Wahkaji on May 9 to prevent the construction of the road and to stop Dr Kakodkar's visit.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Coordination Committee Against Uranium Mining (CCAUM) that comprises KSU, Nongstoin Youth Development Organisation (YDO) and Lai Lyngdoh Youth Welfare Organisation (LLYWO).

Meanwhile, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), which is involved in the construction of the road, asserted that the programme would go on as scheduled.

''We are yet to receive any information in this regard from the state government or the UCIL. We will go ahead with the programme as per schedule,'' said KHADC Chief Executive Member H S Shylla.

UNI SG KK RD 1125

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