Residents of a village in Karnataka’s Yadgir district are up in arms against the state and Union government over the proposed mining of Uranium, as well as plans to set up a nuclear power plant in their village.
The Hindu reported that the residents of the Gogi village gathered together under the aegis of the Bhoomi Tayi Horata Samiti -an activist group- on Thursday to stage a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office. They later submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.
The agitators have threatened to further intensify their protests, until the said proposal is withdrawn by the authorities.
“We have been opposing such anti-human projects in our village since the beginning when uranium testing for mining was taken up, expressing our apprehensions about the spread of diseases.
However, Union Minister of State in PMO Jeetendra Singh, who gave a written answer during Parliament Session has recently shown interest in establishing the project, ignoring the opposition from villagers,” Mallanna Pariwana president of Bhoomi Tayi Horata Samiti told Hindu.
In July 2016, the Uranium Corporation India Ltd (UCIL) restarted environment clearance processes, after China’s objection led to India not being a part of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), a Hindu report by Mohit M Rao said.
In June 2012, the UCIL and the Karnataka government had signed an MoU to set up a uranium ore mining and processing plant in the district. According to the MoU, the Rs. 550 crore project was expected to begin by 2013.
However, protests against the project were held back in 2011 too, when a State High-Level Clearance Committee headed by then Chief Minister Yeddyurappa had then accorded it the green signal.
Residents alleged that soon after the UCIL initiated exploratory work in 2007, drinking water and food started getting contaminated in the area. Some even claimed that more than 500 people had since then suffered paralysis and other nervous disorders.