New Delhi: In a move which could bring cheer to the country’s nuclear establishment grappling with shortage of uranium, the Meghalaya government has said it has no problem in mining for the mineral in the state provided the Centre takes care of health and environmental hazards resulting from radioactive emission from mines.
“Our main concern is health hazards to the people which may arise due to the uranium mining. If the Centre takes care of that, we have no problem in allowing uranium mining in our state,” Meghalaya chief minister Donkupar Roy said.
According to an estimate of Uranium Corporation of India Limited, there could be 3,75,000 tonnes of uranium deposits in West Khasi Hill district of Meghalaya.
While exploratory mining was done more than one-and-a-half decades ago by the Department of Atomic Energy, the Rs1,000 crore mining project is yet to start due to opposition from various individuals and organisations apprehensive of health and environmental hazards.
“We know the importance of uranium. But people have lots of apprehension about the possible health and environmental hazards resulting from mining. The Central government must take necessary steps to allay all apprehensions of local people,” Roy said.
During his visit to Shillong last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said the Centre would ensure that there were no adverse effects before it goes ahead with the project.
“We will take effective measures to see that there are no adverse effects. We will ensure the mining project would benefit the state of Meghalaya,” he had said.