The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) wants the state government to speed up its investigation into the alleged high radiation emissions at a uranium site in Nongbah Jynrin village in South West Khasi Hills.
It was on September 21 that reports first emerged of an explosion at the uranium exploratory site. The government initially denied this report but earlier this month came claims from an environmental activist that levels of radiation in the area were above safe levels. The government then decided to appoint an expert committee to investigate the issue.
“We will also constitute a committee comprising of MDCs from all the parties that will conduct a spot inspection of the tanks at Nongbah Jynrin and, after receiving their feedback, the EC (Executive Committee) will see if the council will have to step in and repair the leaking tanks,” KHADC Chief Executive Member Titosstar Chyne said, adding that the EC will also see if it can arrange a team of experts to also inquire into the matter if the report from the state government’s committee is unsatisfactory.
Meanwhile, Chyne said that his EC is happy to abide by the 2017 resolution passed by the council that forbids the EC from taking any decision on uranium mining without the consent of the full house.
“We stand by the resolution and there’s no doubt that we will not allow any mining activities or issue any NOC for uranium mining activities in the state,” he added.
Earlier nominated MDC Bindo M Lanong claimed that an agent of the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), Maheswari & Company of Kolkata, had extracted samples from the site, which may or may not have gone beyond the “reconnaissance” that the KHADC permitted UCIL to undertake at the site.
“Have they carried out mining then? We don’t know and cannot say because we are not experts but seeing this situation now I think something really serious did take place then,” he said.