MAC: Mines and Communities

Pollution Board rejects proposal on uranium mining

Published by MAC on 2004-01-29

Pollution Board rejects proposal on uranium mining

P Balu - Times India New Network

January 29, 2004

Hyderabad: The proposal for mining and processing of uranium in Nalgonda district near the Nagarjunasagar reservoir suffered a setback on Wednesday, with the technical committee of the AP State Pollution Control Board rejecting the UCIL proposal for setting up a uranium ore processing plant at Mallapuram village in the catchment area of the reservoir.

The committee is learnt to have referred the aspect of giving a final clearance to the mining proposal to the state government after some of the concerned parties expressed reservations on the possible pollution threat to the reservoir from mining.

The decision has been hailed by the Movement Against Uranium Project convenors Capt J Rama Rao and Ravi Rebbapragada.

The proposal for setting up the processing plant is learnt to have been rejected by the consent for establishment clearance committee of the pollution control board. This means the UCIL will have to redraw its plans for a processing plant beginning with the search for a new site.

Dirty water likely to affect many

P Balu - Times India New Network

January 31, 2004

Hyderabad: Water from the Nagarjunasagar reservoir, which has been found to contain radioactive materials in excess of the limits prescribed by the World Health Organisation, is not only the hope for quenching the thirst of Hyderabadis, but also entwined with the lives of nearly two crore people living downstream of the reservoir along the river Krishna.

The number of people exposed to the radionuclides from the reservoir water is nearly a quarter of the population of Andhra Pradesh.

The technical committee that looked into various aspects of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited's application for starting mining operations in places close to the reservoir, had said that the radionuclides in the water were more than the WHO-permitted 2 micrograms per litre of water.

It is the Krishna water - as it flows downstream of the Nagarjunasagar dam through the right and left canals - that irrigates nearly 9.81 lakh acres of farmland. The river is also the source of drinking water for many villages, Tenali, Guntur towns and Vijayawada .

In addition, inland fisheries in the reservoir generates an output of nearly 70 tonnes a year. Though no studies have been conducted on the presence of radionuclides in the fish, studies in other countries have shown that fish accumulate such radioactive particles in their body that are ingested by those who eat them.

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