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Exclude AMDA: Anti-uranium groups
Correspondent SHILLONG, FEB 23:
Published on 24 Feb. 2010 1:06 AM IST
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Anti-uranium mining groups in Meghalaya have asked the Meghalaya government to exclude “pro-uranium group” -- Association of Meghalaya for Development Advancement (AMDA) from being part of the Joint Committee on Uranium Mining in Meghalaya (JCUMM). The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and Coordination Committee of Social Organisation (CCSO) an umbrella organisation comprising of five organisations also threatened to boycott the first meeting of the JCUMM if AMDA is not excluded from the committee. Joint Committee on Uranium Mining in Meghalaya will hold its first meeting to discuss the uranium issue on March 2. “We will pull out as members of JCUMM if the government still includes AMDA in the committee,” KSU general secretary Hamletson Dohling said. The JCUMM will have its first sitting on March 2. On November last, the Meghalaya government had constituted Joint Committee on Uranium Mining in Meghalaya after series of the protests from KSU and CCSO opposing the government’s decision to lease 422 hectare of land in the uranium-rich area to Uranium Corporation of India Limited to start the pre-mining development project in West Khasi Hills district. The proposed Kylleng-Pyndengsohiong-Mawthabah Uranium Project in the state has been hanging fire for three decades due to opposition from tribesmen of the state. Various groups, including political parties, were opposing to mining of uranium apprehending health and environmental hazards following the uranium projects. The committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Mining and Geology, Bindo M Lanong will comprised of seven members from CCSO, KSU each, environmentalist, independent groups and media representatives. The Joint Committee on Uranium Mining in Meghalaya would study the controversial Uranium mining subject and come up with a report for the government within three months. The Uranium corporation of India limited (UCIL) had proposed to set up a Rs 1,046 crore open-cast uranium mining and processing plant at Mawthabah in the West Khasi Hills district which has an estimated deposit of 9.22 million tonne of uranium ore. However, the government-owned mining company failed to drum up support for the project, with several NGOs and anti-mining, civil and human rights groups opposing the proposed mining.

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