Flash Back May 1995

User Rating:  / 0

Green Stop Over Uranium

While the Atomic Mineral Division is preparing the uranium pilot project at Domiasiat in the West Khasi Hills, about 140 kms from the state capital Shillong for handing over to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) by July next, the controversy attached to the issue makes it doubtful whether the project would at all take off the ground without provoking public stir.

Such a doubt is deepening as the opposition parties, specially the Hills State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP) leaders mounted strong pressure on the government to wrap up the pilot project as soon as possible. They had earlier served an ultimatum to the government that the AMD be asked to fold up its exploratory project at Domiasiat by December 31 last year.

The AMD has confirmed that it has located the uranium belt that spreads from Domiasiat to Cyndai in the Jaintia Hills and that the Domiasiat deposit could be profitably mined probably at a cheaper cost than the deep – pit mining at Jadugoda in Bihar since the uranium ore there is naturally exposed on the surface of the earth. “Scratch the earth and you get it,” quipped an official.

It was not easy for the AMD as it has been bounded with problems right from the inception of the project in 1989 when it faced stiff resistance from local land owners and timber traders to all its activities beginning from land acquisition to setting up the pilot mining project, as they were apprehensive of losing land and forest to the central government.