The Times of India, August 12, 2003
HYDERABAD: The meeting held to sort out the differences of opinion between the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) and various NGOs on the risk involved in uranium mining in Nalgonda district witnessed heated debate, with both sides unwilling to give the other an inch.
The meeting was held at the behest of the UCIL on the proposed Lambapur-Peddagattu uranium mining plant in Nalgonda district.
Ravi Rebbarpragada of Samata said there was no risk assessment done as part of the environment impact assessment (EIA). Though, in some projects risk assessment is not necessary, this is not the case when it comes to a uranium mining plant, he said.
A scientist with the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Babu Rao who attended the meeting as member of Samata, said that there were factual discrepancies in the EIA prepared for the proposed mining plant. According to him, there was lack of clarity about the accumulated water in the open cast mines as the calculations based on expected rainfall were wrong.
As the NGOs raised several factual incongruities in the EIA, UCIL managing direct R Gupta said there was a detailed project report in which such issues were addressed.
Taking objection his statement, Sathyalakshmi of the MAUP said that all the relevant information should have been furnished before the environmental public hearing. “How can UCIL expect an informed response, when they are hiding information from the public,” she asked.
Gupta said that if the NGOs have suggestions, they can raise it at the public hearing on August 19. He also asked the the activists to give him in writing the specific issues so that he can respond to them in detail.