People in Kolar district are concerned over the likelihood of uranium waste generated at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant being dumped in the mine shafts of Kolar Gold Fields (KGF).
Reports that the Union government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that nuclear waste from the Kudankulam plant will be stored in the disused shafts of Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. (BGML) in Kolar Gold Fields have stirred a hornet’s nest in the region with people discussing the safety aspects of such a move.
Taken aback by the prospects of the gold mines turning into a dump yard for hazardous nuclear waste, a number of organisations irrespective of political affiliations staged a series of protests at KGF on Thursday.
Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bharatiya Janata Party, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, among others, that condemned the move. The likelihood of radiation was the main cause for worry. A geologist said that the mining area is not conducive for nuclear waste dumping at all.
Meanwhile, Robertsonpet (KGF) City Municipal Council president P. Dayanand, vice-president and former MLA M. Bhaktavatsalam and municipal commissioner V. Balachandra said that they had no information about the reported move of the Union government.
“We only came to know about it through the media. We do not have any information on this from any authorities, including the district administration,” Mr. Dayanand said. “We will oppose the move,” he added.
They said that Union Minister K.H. Muniyappa, who represents Kolar Lok Sabha constituency, was responsible for the situation.
“How did he agree to the reported move to dump nuclear waste at KGF?” Mr. Bhatavatsalam asked and demanded that Mr. Muniyappa tender resignation.
BJP MLA from KGF Y. Sampangi and the Janata Dal (Secular) have given a call for a KGF bandh on Friday to register the angst of the people. Mr. Muniyappa could not be contacted.
Meanwhile, Centre of India Trade Union (CITU) is contemplating filing an counter affidavit in the Supreme Court in view of an affidavit submitted by the Union government. The counter affidavit is likely to be filed by Bharat Gold Mines Limited Employees Union affiliated to CITU, senior trade union leader G. Arjunan told The Hindu on Thursday.