The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) will not give up the move to mine uranium in Meghalaya, even though it has decided to shut down its offices in the state temporarily.
In its letter sent to Shillong office on August 29, the UCIL said, “As you are aware, the UCIL has started its mining activities in Meghalaya about 15 years back, but the UCIL has not received mining lease and statutory permission from the state government. Therefore, the UCIL has been compelled to temporarily close down its establishments in Meghalaya.”
Making it clear that the move to mine uranium in Meghalaya’s South West Khasi Hills district would continue, the letter said, “efforts are on for obtaining mining lease and statutory permission from the Meghalaya government.”
In the letter, the UCIL informed its staff working in Shillong and Wahkaji that “On receipt of required permission which would enable the UCIL to start its operation in Meghalaya, your services may be availed.”
The letter further told the UCIL employees that “dues payable to you as per the prevailing government rules will be paid by the UCIL in due course.”
Requesting the staff to cooperate by vacating the UCIL offices in Meghalaya and shift all its materials from the offices, the UCIL’s letter also warned the staff that any hindrance would be viewed seriously, and penalty will be imposed.
On August 1, the Atomic Minerals Directorate had announced its decision to stop exploratory drilling in uranium-rich deposits South West Khasi Hills district.
The AMD’s decision came after its officials were attacked and machines used for taking sub surface samples were also set on fire on July 25.
The plan to discontinue exploratory works was informed by AMD regional director, Sandeep Hamilton and deputy regional director, Rahul Banerjee after they had a meeting with the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council on August 1.
The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) has been waiting for necessary permission to start the Kylleng-Pyndengsohïong-Mawthabah (KMP) project in South West Khasi Hills district for the past many years.
Various anti uranium groups opposed the UCIL plan to mine uranium in the state.