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September 21, 2009

Safety measures a must: NEHU

SHILLONG, Sept 21: Experts of the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) today underlined the need for safety measures in uranium mining. Accepting the fact that radiation is emitted while mining of ore the experts, including professors of the Physics and Zoology departments of the university, said radiation cannot be prevented but it can be curbed if proper measures are adopted.

The statements emanated during a discussion held at Shillong Club here today among legislators and traditional heads of West Khasi Hills district to dwell on the contentious issue of uranium mining. “We neither favour nor oppose the move for mining,” senior Congress legislator Rowell Lyngdoh said. He said as West Khasi Hills is in need of development and as the uranium mining issue is a burning one, at present there is a need to measure the pros and cons on the issue.

Lyngdoh said all the legislators at the discussion agreed to the fact that development is a vital need, but the merits and demerits of uranium mining have to be looked into so as to safeguard health and environment.

According to Lyngdoh, experts from NEHU who attend the meeting gave presentations on uranium. Lyngdoh said, according to experts, radiation from uranium is high when compared to that of other minerals like limestone and coal. Therefore, he said, “The experts stressed that safety measures should be properly handled on uranium, and authorities concerned should seriously address this issue.”

Lyngdoh said that legislators, members of district council and traditional heads of the district also appealed to both the pro and anti-mining groups to address the issue.

The discussion was attended by Dr B Jyrwa and Dr B Kharbuli from North Eastern Hills University (NEHU) and other experts, who gave presentations on uranium. HSPDP MLA Dr A Pariong, KHADC CEM Mansturdy Nongrem, Irin Lyngdoh, Enbin K Raswai and traditional heads from the district also attended the discussion. THE SENTINEL

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