Varsities to study claims of leakage in uranium tanks

SHILLONG: The uproar, which erupted in the state after reports of blast and leakages in uranium effluent tanks at a village in South West Khasi Hills, is apparently set to be a long haul with two of the varsities in North East including NEHU, now prepping up to study the matter in detail.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, and North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) will carry out an in-depth study into the reports of leakages from the concrete tanks at Nongbah Jynrin in South West Khasi Hills.
Informing this on Thursday, Chief Secretary MS Rao said that the state government had previously requested NEHU to carry out a study into the matter. However, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, after deliberating with few of his Cabinet colleagues, felt that the government should rope in an external agency to conduct the study, Rao said.
He further informed that IIT-Guwahati have informally agreed to carry out the study. “We are now awaiting a formal response from them,” he said.
The government had, earlier, decided to engage an expert agency on the alleged reports of leakages from a concrete tank reportedly containing radioactive uranium waste at Nongbah Jynrin.
While the district administration conducted an inquiry into the matter and reported that there was no leakage, local groups and environmentalists have mounted up the pressure on the government citing the situation as a major public health and environment hazard.
The matter has created commotion in the state of late with one of the recent developments being a cabinet minister inspecting the site and confirming that the reports and claims of the NGOs and youth groups were indeed true.
Earlier to this, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had assured that an inquiry will be set up to unearth the facts, while also flaying the groups for not taking cognizance of the reports of the government agencies, which had deduced after checking that there was no leakage in the tanks.

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