Assuring that the state government will surely examine the demand for an independent inquiry into alleged radiation leakage from the uranium tanks in South West Khasi Hills district, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma said any decision will only be made after discussing with the forest & environment department and other agencies.
Chief Minister said, “We will really get the matter to examine and after discussing with the forest & environment department and other agencies, we will take a call on how to move forward on this.”
Asserting that the state government has taken the matter very seriously, he, however, said the reports that have come from the different agencies to the government have indicated very clearly that there is no truth to this matter.
“If it is something that will have to be looked into again, there is no harm in looking into it since we are equally concerned about it but as I said the arm of the government and all agencies that are around us and that are working on this have clearly indicated to us that there is no such leakage or thing that has happened,” he added.
Earlier, the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has sought the intervention of the Forest and Environment Minister, James K Sangma for a probe by an independent agency even as it threatened to petition to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) if the government fails to address the matter.
“We demand the state government to immediately institute an independent inquiry by an expert team into the alleged radiation leakage from the uranium tanks at Nongbah Jynrin in South West Khasi Hills,” HYC president Robertjune Kharjahrin told reporters after the meeting.
He alleged that during a recent inspection conducted by the members of HYC, it was found that apart from the four tanks storing toxic effluents from the uranium mining carried in the village, another two tanks have also developed cracks.
“In view of this, we also demand the government to re-seal these uranium tanks immediately and to seal those that have been left uncovered, for the interest and safety of the people,” he said.
The HYC president further maintained that the Council cannot accept the reports submitted by the district administration as they are not experts on the subject.
“We also made it clear that we will not accept inquiry by the UCIL if the government intends to involve them as the former is from an interest group,” he said.
Reacting to this, the chief minister however said it is wrong and incorrect for anybody to say that the official report is unacceptable.
“Whether somebody is an expert or not, the point is that the agency and the DC and SP are responsible officials of the district. I think it is incorrect for any organization to say we reject it as they are not experts. Obviously, they must and will involve experts and concerned technical people to ensure that the reports that have come are genuine,” he said.
“Therefore, it is wrong and incorrect for anybody to say that we cannot accept the official report. If there was a single report from the different official agencies that indicated in any way that there was some kind of leakage or radiation then definitely it would raise a lot of concern among us but as I said none of the reports have indicated that,” the CM reiterated. EOM