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Civil groups to oppose uranium mining in M’laya
Correspondent SHILLONG, NOV 10:
Published on 11 Nov. 2010 12:02 AM IST
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Meghalaya anti-mining groups Wednesday vowed to continue to oppose the Kylleng Pyndengsohiong Mawthabah uranium project, while the central government set 2012, as the year to start the mining project in state’s West Khasi Hill district.
“We have reiterated our stand on uranium mining and we will not allow anyone to mine this radio-active mineral in Meghalaya,” Hamletson Dohling, top leader of the influential Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) said after attending the awareness meeting on uranium mining.
The awareness meeting hosted by Atomic Mineral Department and Uranium Corporation of India Limited, was attended by several other civil society groups.
The Rs.1,100 crore (about $240 million) Kylleng Pyndengsohiong Mawthabah uranium mining project has been stalled after the KSU and other civil society group opposed tooth and nail against the project fearing that the project would harm the environment and health of people living in the adjoining areas.
Emlang Lyttan, the president of Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People’s, who also attended the meeting, termed the awareness meeting as “another desperate attempt” of the department of atomic energy (DAE) and (UCIL) officials to forcefully convince the people of Meghalaya to allow uranium mining.
“How can we allow them to start this mining project when they (atomic energy and UCIL officials) themselve cannot give satisfactory answers on health and environment impact of uranium mining,” Lyttan said.
Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council secretary general D.D.G Dympep, who walked out of the awareness meeting said that the Council will continue to oppose the uranium mining as it is a crime against humanity.
Reiterating that there can be no dialogue possible on the life and liberty of people, Angela Rangad, the front leader of Women Against Uranium Mining in Meghalaya said, uranium mining in the state would only bring death and destruction and not development.
However, DAE officials said that the opposition against mining is part of the process of the ongoing dialogue to convince the people on the uranium mining project.
“We have plans to start the KPM project by 2012 but we still have to get the necessary clearance from the Meghalaya government to start the mining project,” S.K. Malhotra, head of public awareness division of the department of atomic energy, told reporters.
He said eight pre-projects - land, health, flora and fauna survey - in the proposed mining areas are already on. “We need to have patience and we are looking forward to start the project soon. We have firmed belief that this project will take off one day as some are already convinced of the safety standards of the projects, while some are on the convincing queue,” Malhotra said.

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