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Uranium project: another public hearing sought

Published by MAC on 2006-09-20

Uranium project: another public hearing sought

Staff Reporter, The Hindu

20th September 2006

* Villagers prevented from expressing opinions, says struggle committee

* UCIL accused of mobilising `rowdy elements' to prevent affected villagers from reaching dais

* Withdrawal of cases against people who protested during public hearing demanded

KADAPA: Anti-Uranium Project Struggle Committee leaders staged a dharna before the Collectorate here on Monday demanding an open public hearing at Mabbuchintalapalle village in Vemula mandal soon, to mobilise people's opinion on the proposed uranium processing plant at Thummalapalle.

People of M. Thummalapalle, Bhomayyagaripalle, Mabbuchintalapalle and K.K. Kottalu were denied chance to air their views at the public hearing organised by Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) at Thummalapalle on September 10, the protesters alleged.

The UCIL had mobilised `rowdy elements' of Pulivendula, Lingala and Thondur mandals and they obstructed affected villagers from going near the dais or expressing their opinions, they alleged.

`Farcical hearing'

Committee convenor B. Narayana, coordinator Siva Reddy and leaders -- N. Ravisankar Reddy and Ch. Chandrasekhar of CPI(M), G. Obulesu, G. Chandra and W. Ramu of CPI, Varalakshmi of Virasam, Jayachandra Reddy and Y. Viswanatha Reddy of Human Rights Forum, G.L. Muralikrishna of APCLC, Rajasekhar Rahul and B.V. Raju of Jana Vignana Vedika -- termed the UCIL public hearing as farcical.

They demanded withdrawal of cases registered against people who protested during the public hearing. Cases should be booked against `rowdy elements' who behaved rudely with affected villagers and tried to attack them, they demanded.

They accused Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, Kadapa MP, of acting as `spokesman' of UCIL and trying to stifle the voice of people of Pulivendula constituency. They demanded an open public hearing at Mabbuchintalapalle.

The UCIL report submitted to APPCB did not detail steps to neutralise radiation effects, they alleged. A tail-end pond was mooted after 15 years and no mention was made about disposal of hazardous waste until then. Officials assured compensation to 489 families whose private lands of 438.15 hectares was proposed to be acquired, but the hearing did not deal with land acquisition or compensation aspects, they alleged.

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