Hyderabad: Purshotham Reddy Environmentalists warned the Government that the people in the state and pro-environment will not allow mining of uranium, as being attempted by the Uranium Corporation of India, in the State. He called for a referendum on the issue from people.
Speaking to The Siasat Daily Mr. Purshotham Reddy he said the Nalamala forests are part of the Eastern Ghats and important for maintaining the Eco System in entire South India.
He said the opening of NalaMala forests for mining uranium will be suicidal particularly seeing COVID.
He was reacting following Centre seeking Telangana State to clear its stance on uranium survey. With this the ball is back in Telangana Government’s Court on the issue surrounding the proposal for uranium survey and exploration by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER)in Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Nalamala forests. The proposal for Uranium Exploration and Survey in Amrabad Tiger Reserve had come for hearing in the recently held meeting of Forests Administration.
Purshotham Reddy said that basically five to six months back when the agitation reached its peak Chief Minister KCR announced in the Assembly that the Telangana Government will not allow Uranium mining in the State. If the Centre is interested in mining Uranium in Telengana then the State Government will join the citizens in opposing the project.
But following renewed efforts by Uranium Corporation of India and Forest Advisory Committee on Bio Diversitygiving consent Mr. Purshotham Reddy questioned will the State Government of Telangana convene a meeting of Forests Advisory Committee and take a bold stand he wondered. Mr. Purshotham Reddy said that the People of NalaMala forests will never allow mining of uranium.
The Nalamala is important for maintaining the ecosystem in entire South India. Adivasis particularly Chenchus live off the forests. Opening Nalamala will be suicidal he argued. Mr. Purshotham Reddy said the development has to be people-friendly. This kind of mining activity at the cost of Eastern Ghats will not be allowed. He said that it is easy for them to revive the agitation. A bandh call to save the Eastern Ghats will be given if the State Government supports the mining decision.
People from Nagarjunasagar, Deverkonda, Acchampet, KollapurNagar kurnoolKalwakurthy Jadcherla will join the agitation. More than six to seven assembly segments are against uranium mining in the region. If the Government wants to know the mood let them call for a referendum. He explained that Nalamala is the storehouse of genetic material. Any damage to the ecosystem will affect mankind particularly the poor and the tribals.
He said that a massive agitation was held in the past opposing the mining of uranium following which the state government had to give an assurance in the State Assembly he said. It may be recalled that the Nalamala forests are the most important part of Eastern Ghats. Major parts of these Ghats are in Telangana. The Ghats range in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
The last three months since there has been a heavy demand for Uranium and prices are increasing by the day. Hence the Uranium Corporation of India Limited a public sector had proposed taking up mining. The issue has been in the domain for the last 17years since 2003.
However due to the Opposition from Environmentalists a public hearing was therein which thousands of people gave their view opposing the mining. The proposal was shelved. Intermittently the issue has been coming up but people have been vigilant and will not allow mining he argued. Stating that it is the oxygen masks of the planet he reiterated his demand to call for a referendum.