TS asks Centre not to allow uranium mining

TS asks Centre not to allow uranium mining

Assembly adopts resolution on uranium twice amidst drama

Hyderabad: The Telangana Legislative Assembly has passed a unanimous resolution requesting the Centre not to permit or allow mining operations of uranium in the Nallamala forest and other areas in Telangana state.

However, the resolution was moved twice and passed in the Assembly, the second time with an amendment following objections raised by the Congress members.

On behalf of the government, Minister K T Rama Rao moved the resolution highlighting the concerns due to uranium operations.

However, the first resolution copy only mentioned Nallamala forest in Telangana. CLP leader Bhatti Vikramarka and MLA D Sridhar Babu got up from their seats as soon as the Speaker announced that the bill was passed.

The Congress members requested Speaker to give them an opportunity to speak, but the latter refused stating that further discussion on uranium mining would not be entertained as the resolution was already passed.

Speaker allowed Zero Hour, but the Congress members continued to protest and tried to catch the attention of KT Rama Rao. He then asked Legislative Affairs Minister V Prashanth Reddy to go to opposition benches to listen to Congress' view and soon afterwards KTR also went there.

KTR and Bhatti spoke for a few minutes and Bhatti tried to put his views to him. Later, KTR went up the podium to have a word with the Speaker after which Congress members resumed their seats and allowed Zero Hour to continue.

After the House resumed around 1 pm, KTR once again moved the resolution with a slight amendment to the first copy. The sentence "Nallamala forest of Telangana State" was replaced with "Nallamala forest and other areas in Telangana State."

The Congress camp stated that they raised an objection as the resolution was only confined to requesting the Centre to stop uranium mining in Nallamala forest.

They wanted uranium mining should not be allowed in any area in Telangana and hence demanded the TRS government to make necessary amendment to the first resolution and then only they would support it unanimously.

Sources stated that Congress objection was taken to the notice of the Chief Minister, who did not attend the Assembly session on Monday, and after his concern, KTR reintroduced the amended resolution copy.

Before the House passed the resolution in the morning, KTR spoke in brief about the concerns and several disadvantages if mining is allowed Nallamala forests since the State is home for tigers, leopards, deer, reedbuck, sloth bear, blue bull and other wildlife.

The forest is also home for rare medicinal herbs and lakhs of plant species. Chenchu and other tribals are dependent on the forest for generations. The streams and waterfalls passing through the hills and hillocks in the forest areas fall under the Krishna river catchment area.

Mining for uranium deposits in the Nallamala forests which is home for rich biodiversity will pose a threat to the ecological equilibrium. There is every possibility that the mining will cause harm to all the living beings in its ecosystem.

Further, the radioactive substances emanating from the uranium mining are very likely to pollute the land, air and drinking water sources. Experiences of mining for uranium in developed countries left behind sorry tales.

People across the Telangana are opposing, and Telangana Assembly also shares the fears of the people and urges the Union government to withdraw its decision to carry out mining in the Nallamala forests, KTR highlighted.

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