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M’laya cabinet firm on leasing land to UCIL
Correspondent SHILLONG, SEP 2:
Published on 3 Sep. 2009 1:10 AM IST
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Despite public resentment on leasing of land to Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), Meghalaya Chief Minister DD Lapang today said that the Cabinet has decided not to revoke its decision and go ahead with the leasing of land. The cabinet on Wednesday discussed the Khasi Students Unions (KSU) ultimatum, to review the Cabinet decision, but we have decided to stand by its August 24 decision and there would be no review to it, Lapang said. Yesterday, the Khasi Students Unions (KSU) submitted a 15-day ultimatum to the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) coalition government to review the cabinet decision to lease out 422 hectares of land to the UCIL for 30 years in the uranium-rich West Khasi Hills district. “If the government fails to review its decision we will decide on our further course of action,” Khasi Students Unions (KSU) president Samuel Jyrwa warned after serving the ultimatum. The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) would invest Rs 1000 crore to undertake pre-project development activities on the leased land. Under these pre- developmental projects, the government-owned mining company would build schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructures. Initially, the UCIL would invest Rs. 209 crore for these projects. The government while approving the lease said that the provision of the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act would not be violated during the agreement. It further made it clear that the pre-project development does not necessarily mean that approval has been given for Uranium mining. The Khasi Students Unions (KSU) however said that the lease agreement is a ploy of the government to start Uranium mining in the district and cautioned the people to be aware of the governments move. The Opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) today urged the ruling Congress-led government to reverse its decision on leasing out of 422 acres of land to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL). “We, the Nationalist Congress Party in Meghalaya, strongly urge the MUA government not to go ahead with any decision affecting the lives of the people without taking them into confidence and coming to a consensus,’’ NCP spokesman James K Sangma said.

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