Andhra Pradesh

‘Uranium mining in Nallamala will have a disastrous impact’

Bolisetty Satyanarayana in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

Bolisetty Satyanarayana in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.  

It will irreparably harm the lives of tribals living in the area, say activists

The decision of the Centre to allow uranium mining in the Nallamala Forest, which is barely 0.5 km from the catchment area of the Krishna, will lead to contamination of the river water with radioactive materials, Jal Biradiri National Coordinator Bolisetty Satyanarayana said.

The decision to allow mining would not only affect the reserve forest but also the lives of the tribes of Amrabad, apart from affecting the lives of all those using the water of the Krishna for drinking, bathing, agriculture and other purposes in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Mr. Satyanarayana told a media conference at the VJF Press Club here on Wednesday.

The Constitution of India has assured the people of their ‘right to life and livelihood’ under Article 21. Unfortunately, this was being protected as far as the lives of the tribal people and the poor were concerned. Though there were Acts like Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act 1974, The Environment Protection Act 1986, Forest Conservation Act 1980, Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and Nuclear Safety Regulation Authority 2011, none of these acts could come to the rescue of the victims of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

‘Trail of disaster’

“These Acts would not protect people infected with radiation exposure due to uranium mining. Therefore, we need to ensure the safety of the people and the protection environment before venturing into uranium mining. Uranium mining proved to be a disaster whereever it was done so far,” he said.

Every abandoned mine had caused great damage to the lives of people, livestock and the life of all living creatures in large surrounding areas. Though a stringent special law brought by the United States of America, called “Radiation Exposure Compensation Act 1990”, it had to be amended several times as it unable to render the desired justice.

The Jal Biradiri national convener said that wherever uranium mining was done, it left behind a legacy of disaster by way of water and soil contamination with radiation. Despite stringent laws and payment of billions of dollars to the victims, several claims were still pending. He recalled that while 25,000 innocent lives were snuffed out in the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the cases of ill-fated survivors of the tragedy, caused by leakage of gas in the US-owned Union Carbide, could not be solved so far. He said that Waterman of India Rajendra Singh and other environmentalists would launch an indefinite agitation if the Centre does not revoke its approvals given to the Nuclear Power Corporation for uranium mining in Srisailam.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 20, 2020 7:33:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/uranium-mining-in-nallamala-will-have-a-disastrous-impact/article28527542.ece

Next Story