Thursday, February 22, 2024

Uranium mining in Meghalaya by next year: Mooshahary

Meghalaya governor RS Mooshahary Tuesday said that the exploration of Uranium mining in the state’s West Garo district would start next year.
Mooshahary conveyed this message to leaders of Ka Synjuk ki Nongshong Shnong Langrin & Warsan Lyngdoh Area (SNS-LWLA) who requested his intervention to start mining project.
“He (governor) told us that the Centre would start the mining project in the state within next year in view of India’s urgent need of nuclear fuel,” SNS-LWLA president Roshem Marthong told reporters here.
SNS-LWLA, a conglomeration of pro-Uranium mining organisations from the Uranium-rich deposits areas of Phod Kylleng-Pyndeng Sohiong The group has been demanding from the State government to speed up the process for Uranium mining in the area.
Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) had planned to develop open cast mining for production of 375,000 tonne 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.
“We want the centre to start Uranium project to bring development in our backward areas of the state,” Marthong said.
When asked on health and environment hazard emanating from Uranium mining, Marthong reiterated that the allegation of health hazard is not true. “There was no health threat found at Jadugoda (Uranium Mining project in Jharkhand) and so there arises no question to oppose uranium mining here,” he said.
He, however, made it clear that mining of Uranium would be welcomed only if the government and the mining company are ready to accept the terms and conditions set by us in the 23 points of demand.
According to Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) projections, India needs to reach a per capita electricity consumption of nearly 5000 kWh/y by 2050.
“Even after making best use of all available domestic resources, it is impossible to meet the required electricity generation profile without Meghalaya’s contribution in supply Uranium from its vast reserve,” Head of Public Awareness Division of AMD Swapnesh Kumar Malhotra said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured that there were no adverse effects before it goes ahead with the project. “We will take effective measures to see that there are no adverse effects. We will ensure the mining project would benefit the state of Meghalaya,” Singh had said.
However, CM Donkupar Roy has made it clear to the centre that his government would allow UCIL to mine Uranium only if the Meghalaya gains more benefits from it.
“We have made clear to them that the Delhi need to first clear out the radiation-related health and environmental hazards and to get a consensus on the mining project,” Roy said.

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