TIMES NEWS NETWORK | AUGUST 17, 2003
HYDERABAD: The proposed uranium mining project in Nalgonda district has attracted the attention of the major political parties with Congress, MIM, CPI and CPM demanding that the government should put the project on hold until a consensus is reached on the utility and safety of the project.
This opinion emerged at a round table on ‘Dangers of the proposed uranium mining project’ organised by the Forum for Utilisation of Godavari Waters on Saturday. “It is unfortunate that the self proclaimed environmentalist chief minister has chosen to remain silent on uranium mining despite several apprehensions being raised about the project,” said APCC president D Srinivas, while criticising the state government’s “indifferent” attitude on the issue.
The state government should constitute an expert committee to study possible impact of the project before granting any kind of permission, said MIM floor leader in Assembly, Asaduddin Owaisi. He added that every effort should be made to ensure that public hearing is not reduced to an eyewash. “As the possible harmful effects of the project might affect the city, the public hearing must held here also,” CPI state secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said. He added that the people have a right to know about the project which is going to affect their lives, and the government is duty bound to make the relevant information available to them, he asserted.
Countering the ‘development argument’ raised by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited chairman, R Gupta, recently in Hyderabad, CPM leader Y V Rao said that the relevant point would be ‘whose development?’. He added that “it is a pity that the “Hi-Tec” chief minister has not made any statement about the whole issue.” Speaking on the occasion, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) president K G Kannabiran said that their was an urgent need to make the local people aware of the seriousness of the issue.
He added that the challenge lies in effectively communicating the dangers arising from the project to the uneducated tribals excited by the prospect of a better economic future. Other political leaders including Chilakurthi MLA K Jana Reddy, Congress Working Committee member Sarojini Pulla Reddy and CPI leader K Narayana also spoke. The round table was also attended by the Movement Against Uranium Project activists, Ravi Rebbapragada, J Rama Rao, Dr Satyalakshmi, Babu Rao and others.