The campaign to save the Nallamala forests gained further momentum on Friday with leading celebrities joining the chorus against the proposed uranium exploration and mining.
Primary arrangements for uranium exploration are underway in Nallamala forest, which is spread across several districts in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The Centre, hoping that the process of nuclear power generation will be beneficial in the long run, has granted an 'in-principle' approval for survey and exploration of uranium over 83 square kilometres.
However, environmentalists say that the mining of radioactive substances like uranium is often known to contaminate the local environment. The move will also displace the Chenchus, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) in Telangana.
#SaveNallamala was trending on the social media with actors, sportspersons, NGOs, environmentalists and concerned citizens throwing their weight behind the online campaign. Popular actress Samantha Akkineni signed an online petition addressed to the President urging him to intervene to save the forests spread over Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
As the voice grew louder, Telangana state Minister K T Rama Rao assured that he will personally discuss the matter with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
"I hear all of your concern on the issue of uranium mining in Nallamala forest. Assure you all that I shall personally discuss the matter with Hon'ble CM KCR Garu," KTR, who is also Working President of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and son of the Chief Minister, tweeted.
I hear all of your concern on the issue of uranium mining in Nallamala forest. Assure you all that i shall personally discuss the matter with Honâ€™ble CM KCR Garuâ€” KTR (@KTRTRS) September 13, 2019
The online petition, also signed by actress Anasuya Bharadwaj, voiced concern over the impact the uranium exploration will have on the forests, part of which falls in Amrabad Tiger Reserve and Nagarjuna Sagar Tiger Reserve.
"Do we need development? Yes!! But at what cost? Uranium mining will not only destroy the forest, it will contaminate the soil,flora and fauna..the waste will seep into the rivers and spread for miles & affect thousands of Indians," tweeted actor Randeep Hooda.
Well-known Indian doubles badminton player Jwala Gutta, director Shekhar Kammula and actor Tanikella Bharni have already declared their support to the campaign to save Nallamala.
The Centre in May this year granted in-principle clearance for uranium exploration in Nallamala.
Popular actor and Jana Sena Party (JSP) leader Pawan Kalyan has also already announced his support against uranium exploration and mining. He backed the campaign launched by Congress party and said politicians should decide whether they want to leave a 'Bangaru' (golden) Telangana or uranium-polluted Telangana for future generations.
Actor Vijay Devarkonda on Thursday came out in support of Save Nallamala campaign. "20,000 acres of Nallamala is at the risk of being destroyed. We have destroyed our lakes, flooded our states, caused drought in others and polluted most of our drinking water sources. The quality of our air is deteriorating everywhere. Multiple cities are running out of the water to drink, brush, shower, wash and everything else. And we continue to justify destroying any small good that is left. Next in line are the lush green Nallamala forests," read Devarakonda's post on Twitter.