Nallamala Forest Uranium Exploration: Telangana Assembly Passes Resolution To Not Allow Mining
On Monday, September 16, a unanimous resolution was passed by the Telangana Legislative Assembly, urging that the Centre to not allow uranium mining operations in the Nallamala forest region of the state.
“This House unanimously resolves to request the Government of India not to permit or allow uranium mining operations in Nallamala forest area of Telangana state,” the resolution adopted by the House said.
In May 2019, the Forest Advisory Committee under the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change gave in-principle approval to the AMD (Atomic Minerals Directorate) to conduct the survey for the radioactive mineral in Amrabad in Nallamala forest region. As part of the survey for uranium deposits, the AMD sought to drill 4,000 boreholes in the Tiger Reserve, the second-largest in the country.
“The Nallamala forest houses the ‘Chenchu’ tribe and has a very rich biodiversity, including animals like tigers and Nilgai as well as rare varieties of plants,” State Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao, who moved the resolution, said.
Rao further said that the ecological balance in the Nallamala forest region will be affected if the exploration is carried out. A major reason for concern is that human life may be adversely affected due to pollution of agricultural land, air and drinking water. According to Rao, even developed countries have had bitter experiences in uranium exploration.
“Against this backdrop, all people are severely opposed to uranium exploration in Nallamala in Telangana. The Telangana assembly also shares the fear and anxiety of the people,” News18 quoted Rao as saying, urging the Centre to withdraw the idea. The adoption of the government resolution was announced by Speaker Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy.
Threat To Tigers, Krishna River
On Sunday, September 15, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said that the government did not approve of uranium mining in Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR). The Amrabad Tiger Reserve in the Nallamala forest region is home to 22 tigers and about 100 leopards.
Hyderabad depends on river Krishna for drinking water, and proposed exploration may contaminate the river. The CM clarified that post-June 2014, the state government had never given permission for uranium mining. The state would unitedly fight if the Centre insists on going ahead with the exploration, he claimed.
The opposition parties are protesting against the proposed exploration and have indicated to intensify the protest in the coming days.