Shillong(Meghalaya ) May 20 : The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has asked the State government to take action against the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) and the Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) for alleged illegal extraction and transportation of uranium from the State.
The demand by KSU followed recent seizure in Moreh, Manipur of a metal package carrying a tag of ‘Uranium Cooperation of India Limited’ and also the inscriptions “Explosive No. 337/99% Proven 425. Volt 2014”, “Govt use only not for sale powder 99 percent refined”, of Department of Atomic Mineral (AMD), Director of Atomic Explosion Research Centre North East Region Shillong, Government of India.
“We strongly suspect that the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) and the Atomic Mineral Department (AMD) are illegal transporting uranium which are being explored in the State,” KSU South West Khasi Hills president, Forward Nongrem said today.
Stating that the incident has not come as a surprise to the union, he said last year it had also come to the fore that the UCIL and AMD had used local people to extract uranium at Mawthabah.
Nongrem also stated that that the State government had already cancelled the decision taken by the cabinet in 2009 to lease 422 hectares of land in Domiasiat and Mawthabah under South West Khasi Hills to the UCIL for taking up pre-mining activities in the region.
“Therefore, we demand the State government to take actions against the officials of the UCIL and AMD for disrespecting the decision of the cabinet and also the decision taken by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) in 2017 on the issue that no uranium mining will be allowed,” Nongrem said.
The KSU also demand both the State government and the KHADC to not only express their opposition against mining of uranium in the State but also to take up the matter and pressurise the Centre to ensure that uranium mining is a closed chapter in the State.
It further urged the State government and the KHADC to take up with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to cancel the environmental clearances granted for open cast mining and drilling at Domiasiat and Mawthabah in 2017.
“If late Purno Sangma, father of the incumbent chief minister can convince the standing committee of the ministry not to grant environmental clearance to the AMD for drilling of uranium at Balpakram National Park in 2010, we demand Conrad Sangma to do the same in the interest of the people of South West Khasi Hills,” Nongrem said.
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