Wednesday, February 21, 2024

KHADC caught unawares on ‘uranium’ drilling


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KHADC CEM PN Syiem addresses media persons in city on Tuesday. (ST)

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The KHADC, which gave permission to the Maheswari Mining Pvt Ltd, to conduct drilling operations at Porkut-Nongjri, Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills was caught unawares as the Council has not clue on the mineral the company has been looking for.

The KHADC issued a trading license to the company — authorised by the Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) for Exploration of Research to conduct exploratory mining for uranium in Meghalaya — in 2009 without knowing the purpose of the drilling.

Chief Executive Member of KHADC, PN Syiem on Tuesday could not specify the mineral the company was drilling for all these years.

Replying to a query, Syiem said, “It was not mentioned in the trading license as to what mineral the company is drilling; they were given the license to undergo drilling.”

It has been alleged that the company was issued the license by the KHADC without asking for any forest clearance and pollution clearance certificates from the Forest department and Meghalaya State Control Pollution Board respectively.

After issuing the NOC to the company in 2009, the previous KHADC Executive Committee renewed the license in March, 2011, but the Council had to re-examine the whole matter following complaints from NGOs in May this year.

The KHADC asked the Maheswari Mining Pvt Ltd to surrender its trading license on June 1 following various anomalies found in its documents.

The company was also accused of violating the terms and conditions put forward by the office of Nongstoin Syiemship while issuing the NOC.

On the demand of KSU-South West Khasi Hills for immediate cancellation of the company’s license, Syiem said, “We cannot take any decision in rush. We have to thoroughly study the whole matter.”

The KSU unit alleged that the company had undertaken drilling for unknown natural resources by felling trees in a vast area, caused pollution by discharging waste materials into natural streams and also engaged a lot of labourers from outside the State.


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