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KSU, CCSO boycott uranium meet in Shillong
Correspondent SHILLONG, Mar 1:
Published on 2 Mar. 2010 12:45 AM IST
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Anti-uranium mining groups in Meghalaya has decided to boycott tomorrow’s first meeting of the Joint Committee on Uranium in Meghalaya (JCUM) to discuss on the uranium project in the state. The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and five-member group Coordination Committee of Social Organisation (CCSO) decided not to participate in the meeting in protest against the inclusion of a pro-uranium group ---Association of Meghalaya for Development Advancement (AMDA) in the government constituted body. ‘’We (KSU and CCSO) have decided not to participate in the meeting of JCUMM,’’ CCSO chairman Wellbirth Rani said. He said,’ The government should not mix AMDA with us to discuss the issue. If the government wants to hold meeting with AMDA it should form a separate committee as both government and AMDA are already pro-uranium.’’ On November last, the Meghalaya government had constituted the committee following series of protests against the government’s decision to lease 422 hectares 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 for three decades due to opposition from the 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 comprise KSU,CCSO, environmentalist, independent groups and media representatives. The JCUM 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 tonnes 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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