Environmental activist Bremley WB Lyngdoh has warned that people living downstream of the uranium site in Nongbah-Jynrin should refrain from drinking river water that may be contaminated with radioactive material even as he raised fears that agricultural produce from South West Khasi Hills could be poisoning people all over the state.
Last week Lyngdoh had conducted a test of areas in Nongbah-Jynrin, the site of storage tanks of the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL). He found radiation levels at the site and in a nearby river to be well over the danger mark.
Today he maintained that the people of Ranikor and other villages should never drink the contaminated water flowing downstream from the uranium tanks located upstream in Nongbah-Jynrin as there have been reports of cancer rates skyrocketing in all downstream villages over the past 30 years.
“It seems all the food and vegetables coming from South West Khasi Hills have cancer-causing radioactive particles on them hence the skyrocketing cancer rates of people in Shillong eating fish, beef, and vegetables with radiation in them over the past 30 years,” he added.
Lyngdoh reiterated his call for an independent and scientific investigation and environmental and public health impact assessments of the people, water bodies, soil and air. He also said that potential compensation for the loss of life and damage to the ecosystem could add up to hundreds of millions of rupees.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh expressed his concern about the radiation issue.
“The government needs to find out the truth and send experts to verify this matter and come out with concrete proof because if there really is emission of high-level radiation from the uranium tanks then a grave danger awaits the people of the state,” Lyngdoh told Highland Post today.
“I think the government should immediately take up this matter and send experts to find out the truth about everything because if these claims that we have seen in the news and social media are true then we cannot delay things but take steps before it’s too late,” he added.