Govt. hints of exploring option to engage other independent agencies to probe leakage of uranium tanks

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As the demand for an independent inquiry into the alleged leakage of toxic waste from tanks containing uranium effluents in South West Khasi Hills gets launder, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday hinted that the government is exploring the option of engaging other independent agencies to probe into the alleged leakage.

His statement also came at a time when NGOs especially the KSU have expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s decision to engage the North Eastern Hill University and the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati for carrying out an in-depth study into the matter.

Speaking to reporters, Sangma said both NEHU and IIT, Guwahati are independent bodies and that the government is looking at agencies that can quickly implement things especially in view of the present situation there are a lot of challenges for people to travel and come to the state.

He said, therefore, it is easier for the government to make things move faster with NEHU and IIT, Guwahati.

“Keeping that in mind, we have not closed our option of having a third party, fourth party or even fifth party because as we have made it very clear that the safety and security of our people is the prime concern of the government so whatever it takes, we will ensure that we go down deep and find out what the facts are,” Sangma assured.

“So NEHU is doing it, let them submit the report. IIT will do it, let them submit their report. It is good and then a third party will be coming in so it is a process that will continue and we want to ensure that people are safe,” he added.

When asked how many parties the government is looking at, the chief minister further stated, “If we see there are some kind of conflicting reports that come in, then we can decide to go for the fourth, fifth parties.”

Sangma however said it will not be appropriate for him to say the numbers but the government will ensure that all possible steps are taken for the safety of the people.

Meanwhile, the chief minister informed that a few weeks have been given to NEHU to complete the probe and submit its report to the government adding but the government is yet to get any feedback from the IIT, Guwahati. “I am sure they are going to reply soon,” he said. EOM