Uranium deposits in NE found only in Meghalaya

Among the Northeastern states, uranium deposits are so far available only in Meghalaya, the Atomic Minerals Division (AMD) said today.

Updated: Nov 09, 2010, 22:43 PM IST

Shillong: Among the Northeastern states,
uranium deposits are so far available only in Meghalaya, the
Atomic Minerals Division (AMD) said today.

"Over 16,000 tonnes of uranium deposits have been located
in the Mahadek basin of Meghalaya. Apart from Meghalaya,
surveys in other states have found that there are no economic
concentration of uranium anywhere else," regional director of
AMD R Mohanty said.

In other states, rock types found are not favourable for
uranium mineralisation, but Arunachal Pradesh has the
potential though no deposits have been found there so far, he
said, adding that surveys were conducted on in Meghalaya and
Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, scientists of BARC and officials of Uranium
Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) and Department of Atomic
Energy (DAE) today met state government officials, Chief
Minister and his cabinet colleagues on the prospects of
uranium mining and sought to allay apprehensions of health
hazards expressed by some quarters.

Head of the Public Awareness Division of DAE S K Malhotra
said the Centre is eager to start the mining project in the
state which has been stalled due to protests from various
organisations.

"Locals in the area where the mining is proposed are
convinced, but some urban groups are opposing it. But there is
no scientific reason for opposing the project," Malhotra said.

Referring to the statutory environmental, forest and
pollution clearances, Malhotra said the UCIL is awaiting the
state government`s nod to start the Rs 1100 crore project that
has hung fire for over one and half decades.

Tomorrow the scientists would meet the warring groups
in yet another bid to break the stalemate.

The mining issue in Meghalaya has been suspended for over
one and a half decade now with some prominent NGOs and
political parties vehemently opposing the proposal on the
grounds that it would lead to degradation of the environment
besides opening the floodgates for outsiders into the tribal
state.

-PTI