Meghalaya uranium project to go ahead despite opposition

November 9th, 2010 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Nov 9 (IANS) The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) Tuesday said there is no plan to abandon the Rs.1,100 crore (about $240 million) uranium mining project in Meghalaya in view of public opposition.

“We are eager to start the Kylleng Pyndengsohiong Mawthabah project in Meghalaya. There is no question of us giving it up,” S.K. Malhotra, head of public awareness division of the department of atomic energy, told reporters.

“The project will be good for Meghalaya and there is no scientific reasons to oppose uranium mining,” he said, adding that only a small number of people from urban areas (Shillong) of Meghalaya were opposing the project in West Khasi Hills district.

Malhotra, who was leading a team of UCIL officials and atomic mineral division, briefed Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, cabinet ministers and legislators on the long-pending uranium mining project in the state.

The team will also meet the anti-mining groups Wednesday.

The UCIL proposes to set up an open-cast uranium mining and processing plant in Meghalaya. The state is estimated to have 9.22 million tonnes of uranium ore deposits.

It has also plans to produce 375,000 tonnes of uranium ore a year and process 1,500 tonnes a day.

The union ministry of environment and forests has given clearance to the UCIL to start mining in the state.

Emerging from the meeting, Sangma said that the team should convince the common man that the project was for their benefit.

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