SHILLONG, Aug 1 - Meghalaya Cabinet today revoked a seven year old Cabinet decision, which permitted the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) to undertake pre-mining activities and leasing 422 hectares of land in South West Khasi Hills district to the Corporation.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma announcing the decision said the Cabinet decision taken on August 24, 2009 stands revoked pertaining to the lease of land and permission to undertake pre-mining activities in South West Khasi Hills district.
Under the previous Cabinet decision, 422 hectares of land, leased by the landowners in Nongbah-Jynrin for 30 years, would be returned by the UCIL. Sangma said the process to hand over the land would be started soon.
�The UCIL undertook an exercise to allay the fears of the people regarding health hazards from Uranium mining, which has failed,� Sangma said while announcing the decision. Reiterating that no Uranium mining activities can be undertaken in the State, Sangma said, the UCIL has moved beyond pre-mining activities by unilaterally floating an Expression of Interest (EOI) recently.
The UCIL floated the EOI in the local newspapers, which in effect meant the Corporation was looking beyond pre-mining activities and was actually headed towards mining of Uranium.
�The EOI doesn�t confine to pre-mining activities and goes beyond that. Therefore, all Uranium mining activities is hereby stopped,� Sangma stated.
He further informed the Cabinet decision would be made known to the UCIL and other concerned officials by authorities in the State.
The decisions have been taken after a group of NGOs have strongly opposed the EOI floated by the UCIL. These NGOs, under the banner Joint Action Committee of Social Organisations, are opposed to Uranium mining in the State.
Several of these NGOs are also opposed to pre-project developmental activities near the Uranium site. NOC was earlier given to road projects linked with the Uranium mining sites.
NOCs to the project, Nongstoin-Mawthabah-Wakhaji Road, has been cancelled today by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.