Andhra Pradesh

Villagers prevent drilling for uranium samples

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They ask officials to remove the equipment in two days

The drilling for collecting uranium samples, which was taken up by the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research at Yadavada village of Allagadda mandal in the district, was prevented by about 200 villagers on Saturday.

The villagers were led by former Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya.

She later told The Hindu that the villagers gave the authorities two days time to completely remove their equipment from the area.

“If the equipment is not removed by then, the villagers have warned them of dire consequences,” she added.

‘Lack of awareness’

Referring to the lack of awareness among the villagers, Ms. Akhila Priya said that none of the authorities spoke with them.

“Moreover, the drilling has been taken up on patta lands owned by locals. This has further aggravated the situation,” she said.

“I have spoken with the district authorities, the local authorities, as well as the people involved in the exercise. All of them have different versions to say and we don’t know whom to believe,” she added.

“After seeing the effects of uranium mining at Tummalapalli village of Kadapa district, the villagers are wary of its consequences here,” Ms. Akhila Priya said.

All-party meet today

Meanwhile, CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna wrote a letter to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy demanding that the drilling be stopped at the earliest. Ms. Akhila Priya said she would be representing the TDP at the all-party meeting convened by the CPI on Sunday.

Mr. Ramakrishna said the meeting would be held in Vijayawada to decide upon an action plan against uranium mining in the State.

According to the district authorities, the directorate is drilling at various places to get an idea of the mineral composition in the area.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 5:32:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/villagers-prevent-drilling-for-uranium-samples/article29544627.ece

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