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Protests intensified against Uranium mining in Nagarkurnool

Protests intensified against Uranium mining in NagarkurnoolVillagers from Nallamala forest staging a protest against Uranium mining in Achampet on Tuesday
Highlights

With the news spreading that some Central government authorities are going to visit the villages and proposed sites of Uranium mining to conduct survey and further studies in the area, the local leaders from all political parties along with locals staged a protest against the Central government move to carryout Uranium mining in the Nallamala area.

Nagarkurnool: With the news spreading that some Central government authorities are going to visit the villages and proposed sites of Uranium mining to conduct survey and further studies in the area, the local leaders from all political parties along with locals staged a protest against the Central government move to carryout Uranium mining in the Nallamala area.

As it is already known that the Central government's Atomic Mineral Development Directorate has identified large stocks of Uranium deposits in the mandals of Amrabad and its surrounding villages of Mannanur and other Chenchu thandas, the local villagers and the politicians in the region are vehemently opposing the Central government's move to carryout Uranium mining.

Taking up the protest to the next level, recently the locals along with peoples representatives have decided to go on a series of protest and road blockades to express their anger and concerns over the proposed Uranium mining.

Recently, the locals in Mannanur also conducted one-day bandh and blocked the Srisailam – Nagarkurnool highway causing huge traffic jam. People from the forest area and villages across Amrabad mandal came out in large numbers to take part in the road blockade as part of 'Nallamala Bandh' which was observed by people's organisations and political parties against the Centre's attempts to explore Uranium inside Amrabad tiger reserve.

All shops, banks and educational institutions remained closed and every person in the region joined hands and raised Jai Nallamala slogans. They took out rallies against the proposed uranium exploration. Revolutionary songs were sung to which women danced forming a human chain. Later, hundreds staged a sit-in at the Ambedkar Chowrastha, blocking the traffic heading towards Srisailam and Nagarkurnool for a couple of hours. The message was clear. People were not going to allow the Centre to carry out its plan to explore Uranium in the forests which people have always considered their mother.

However, what led to the sudden announcement of bandh was that people received information about surveyors (scientists) from the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) visiting the forest to get some details on Monday. Hence, the bandh was called off.

There was a lot of misinformation among the general public about the proposed uranium exploration. Women who were at the protest site were under the impression that soon they would be asked to vacate the forest and would be asked to go and live elsewhere.

One such effort was made before the formation of Telangana, when many borewells were dug in several villages across Amrabad mandal on the pretext of supplying drinking water to people. Many of the borewells were deserted.

Another incident which had pushed the panic button was the Heliborne Geophysical Survey which was carried out about at the same time in the past leaving many believe that somebody was out to exploit the forest and its natural resources.

In none of the efforts of the Centre were the local tribes (especially Chenchus and Lambadas) were taken into confidence by at least involving them in the decision-making process to an exercise which could have a potential impact on lives of around 70,000 people or more, living within the 83 sqkm where the Centre wants to carry out Uranium mining.

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