Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Uranium Mining in Meghalaya

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The Khasi Students Union (KSU) has asked the centre to scrap the plan to mine Uranium in Domiasiat village in Meghalaya. Their argument is that it will cause health hazards. The project run by Uranium Corporation of India Limited has been hanging on hold for the past decade and a half due to this agitation. Its ironical that when scientist and researchers have given a go ahead to the project a so called NGO with limited expertise in science and technology talks about the health hazard.

It is highly ironical that the same organisation has no objection to the coal mining going on around in Jaintia hills using dangerous traditional methods. The entire district is a huge disaster waiting to happen but the NGO has no objection to it. The reason is simple, small businessman make millions out of the coal mines where as uranium mining will be done by a government agency thus depriving the such people to make their quick millions.

Of course there are health hazards associated with mining a mineral like uranium but steps can be taken to prevent this. In this regard expertise of the scientific community seems to more acceptable than that of an NGO whose ranks can hardly boast of intellects. Uranium mining has been going on successfully in Jaduguda, Bhatin, Narwapahar and Banduhurang mines without the so called catastrophic health hazards. Displacement of people is an issue but it is a part of any developmental project.

Similar agitation in the 80s ensured that the Indian Railways never set foot in Meghalaya. In fact Meghalaya is the only state in the country without an inch of railway network. A development starved state cannot afford to reject a project of this potential. The project can be a power assurance certificate to the entire state. The project is of national importance and should be supported by the state with open arms.

Power fuels development and nuclear power is the technology for tomorrow. This particular project can lead to job creation in the state and bring a huge amount of central attention to Meghalaya. The power hungry North Eastern region can benefit from project of such a scale. Indirect developments would include better infrastructure in the state as Domiasiat will regularly be an object of global attention.

The people of Meghalaya have to be rational in their thought and foresee the potential of this project. They have to choose between narrow minded regional politics and development. If this project is stalled by such meaningless agitation the state will have no right to blame the centre for its underdevelopment. After all any noble soul should realise that the flow of resources and money cannot just be one way.

2 comments:

moffyTOTS January 6, 2009 at 8:02 PM  

U see..Mamta banerjee ain't alone in da muted and hidden tirade against common Indians..

These misplaced freaks are not objectin to uranium or mining or health concerns..tthey jus want their pathetic presence to be felt,their voice included in da thick of matters.

They r more dangerous to our existence than any terrorist or underworld don can ever be...

subhadeepbhattacharjee January 7, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

well true the problem is New Delhi has pampered these groups for too long and that is the reason why they have forgotten what they deserve

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