Deadlock continues as pressure groups junk UCIL assurance

Officials from Uranium Corporation of India Limited hold discussions with
anti-uranium mining groups in the city on Thursday. (ST)

SHILLONG: There was no end to the deadlock over uranium mining in the State as pressure groups that met the new chief of UCIL on Thursday, refused to accept the safety assurances of the company.
The new chairman and managing director of UCIL (Jaduguda), C.K Asnani, had invited seven pressure groups to discuss the Kylleng-Pdengsohiong-Mawthabah uranium mining and its health hazards.
However, the talks fell through as the organisations reiterated their stand on opposing uranium mining.
The pressure groups which attended Thursday’s meeting were the Joint Action Committee of Social Organisations (JACSO), KSU, NESO, Meghalaya People’s Human Rights Council (MPHRC), HYC, Langrin Youth Welfare Association (LYWA) and Northeast Dialogue Forum (NEDF).
Asserting that there are no safe measures in uranium mining, NESO president Samuel Jyrwa said, “The CMD has stated that UCIL will take responsibility to ensure safety. We understood that when it comes to uranium mining there is no safe precaution to mining.”
“Till date, nothing has been said about safe uranium mining and we reiterate our opposition,” he added.
KSU president Lambokstar Marngar said uranium mining comes with its share of dangers. “They should forget about mining uranium. Till our last breath, we will oppose uranium mining,” he added.
The pressure groups said they would not budge despite the company downplaying the harmful effects of uranium mining.
HYC general secretary Robertjune Kharjahrin said, “We can’t talk of post consequence of mining. We should look at the pre-consequence of mining as in the past there were arguments amongst various sections over the mining project,” he added.
On the environment front, the pressure groups said that mining will have a bearing on water bodies and underground water and ecology.