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M’laya to lease land to UCIL for ‘pre-project’
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 24:
Published on 24 Aug. 2009 11:44 PM IST
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The Meghalaya Cabinet on Monday approved the lease land to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) for 30 years in the uranium-rich West Khasi Hills district for “pre-project” developmental works. “This only a pre-project developmental work to provide better educational institutions, hospitals and roads and other infrastructure to the people and we have agreed to allow that land be released for 30 years covering 422 hectares,” Chief Minister DD Lapang told reporters here. He said the developmental project would entail Rs 1000 crore, Sangma said the Corporation would invest Rs 209 crore in the initial phase. “The State government has given approval with the condition that the works are allotted to government agencies,” the Chief Minister said. The UCIL has submitted a memorandum to the government incorporating two phases of development in the uranium-rich area - development phase and mining phase. “But the government at the moment is concentrating only on the developmental phase,” Lapang said. Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Mining and Geology, Bindo M Lanong said, “The local people in the area want developmental activities and the pre-project should not be linked with the proposed mining project at the moment”. The government would later consider the uranium mining project, he asserted. Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Power Mukul M Sangma said, “Decision on mining will be taken only after taking all aspects into consideration. This (pre-project development) is to create a conducive atmosphere.†Asked whether the leasing of the land to the UCIL violated the Land Transfer Regulation Act, Dr Sangma said that the government did not violate the Land Regulation Act since the consent of land owners has already been taken. “Land will have to be leased out for public utility and to avoid conflicts of interest,” he stated. “NGOs from the area, who have submitted their representations to the government have also indicated that they would like the government to allow UCIL to mine uranium but a decision in this regard would be subsequently taken,” he said.

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