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DU rejects claims of uranium being `dumped` in the campus

Delhi University and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Saturday rejected claims that 20 kg of uranium was "dumped" inside the campus a few years back and ruled out fears about safety of radioactive materials in its laboratories.



New Delhi: Delhi University and Atomic
Energy Regulatory Board Saturday rejected claims that 20 kg of uranium was "dumped" inside the campus a few years back and ruled out fears about safety of radioactive materials in its
laboratories.

In a hurriedly convened press conference, its Vice
Chancellor Deepak Pental termed it as wrong that 20 kg of
uranium was buried in the campus as claimed by a terminated
professor.

"This is wrong. If 20 kg of uranium was dumped
somewhere in the campus, it would not have been possible for
us to sit here," he told reporters.

Pental alleged that Prof Ramesh Chandra, who made
these allegations, "could have done this to settle personal
score as he has been terminated from the service for financial
irregularities."

AERB scientist Dr Raju Kumar said that there was no
evidence about radioactive material being dumped inside the
campus.

He, however, said "there were certain radioactive
materials which did not have proper labelling and they have
been taken care of."

A four-member team from the AERB launched a probe into
lapses by the university in auctioning of radioactive
material, which led to the death of a man in the city.

The team is also looking for radioactive pencils which
reportedly went missing.

The Vice Chancellor did not prefer to comment about
the demand of the Delhi University Teachers` Association that
he should resign.

Pental said a team of AERB is currently investigating
the laboratories and has not found any unsafe source of
radioactive material.

"Nothing untoward has been noticed by them. I have
requested them to inspect all laboratories of all science
departments to ascertain whether there is any unsafe
material," he said.

To a question, he said that he had given approval for
auctioning of the radioactive material by the chemistry
department but maintained that he should not be blamed for it.

The Vice Chancellor said he approved it as part of
official procedure but maintained that the responsibility of
ensuring that only safe materials are auctioned lies with the
Chemistry department.

Pental said the department has also auctioned 50
cylinders in last three years but they were not hazardous as
claimed by certain reports.

The university has set up a three-member panel to look
into the circumstances under which the materials were
auctioned. The committee will submit its report within a
months` time.

To an allegation that Dr Dwarka Nath, who is a member
of the committee, is close to Prof V S Parmar of Chemistry
department and that the investigation may not be fair, he
answered in the negative.

"They are not corrupt and Prof Dwarka Nath has not
given his consent on becoming member of the panel yet. He may
disagree to become a member of the panel also," he said.

PTI

From Zee News

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