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Rs 800 crore for Uranium mining
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 26:
Published on 26 Aug. 2008 11:43 PM IST
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The Union government has decided to sanctioned Rs. 800 crore for development of infrastructure in the proposed uranium mining areas in West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, provided that the government evolves a consensus over the mining issue, a senior government official said today. “The union government has sanctioned Rs. 800 crores for development of infrastructure but with a rider that the Meghalaya government must be able to evolve a consensus over the mining issue,” Meghalaya Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee said over the phone from Delhi. Yesterday, Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar held a meeting with all the union government secretaries, Meghalaya Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee and the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) officials and discussed about the government strategy to reach a consensus over the three decade old mining issue. Chandrasekhar also reviewed the stand of the anti and pro mining groups which met him and AEC chief Anil Kakodkar here on Friday. The duo, assigned by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had met several ngos and political parties in Shillong to glean their stand on the uranium mining issue. The UCIL has proposed a Rs 1046 crore 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 UCIL since 1992 has failed to convince the state government, political parties and anti-mining groups due to apprehension of radiation-related health hazards. But government officials said that the apprehensions against uranium mining arise due to under development of the West Khasi Hills district.“We felt that if development is put in a fast track in the area the apprehension will automatically become less.” Chatterjee said. He said that Rs. 800 crore has been sanctioned to set up five Public Health Centres (PHC), Community Health Centre (CHC), a Kendra Vidhalaya School and Polythenic institute in the area. and good drinking water supply connection in the area. “The union government is willing to spend for development of the region if the State government puts the mining of uranium in a fast track,” he said.

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