21 October, 2020

They Don't Like This Eerie Glow

They Don't Like This Eerie Glow
It was meant to be a public hearing but the atmosphere was that of a protest demonstration. A raucous crowd shouting down anyone who tried to speak in favour of the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL)’s plans to set up a processing plant in Seripalli village here. The UCIL wants to start mining for uranium in the Lambapur-Pedagattu area, a forested area abutting the Nagarjuna Sagar dam. In 2003, when UCIL first unveiled its plans, it proposed setting up the ore processing plant at Mallapuram, 18 km from the site of the proposed open-cast mines. However, a year ago, the state pollution board turned down the proposal after warnings of radiation leak and heavy-metal contamination in the reservoir. The Nagarjuna Sagar is one of South India’s key dams providing drinking water for several cities including the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, besides irrigation for six districts.

Under pressure to keep producing uranium for the Department of Atomic Energy’s ever increasing...



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