SHILLONG, Feb 27: The decision of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) to scrap the MoU signed with the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) has been hailed by the North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) on Monday.
“If there are other such NOCs and MoUs given and signed respectively in the intervening years, it would do well that they be revoked too,” a statement issued here by the NEDF on Monday said.
While stating that the NEDF is in the know that permission for exploratory mining of uranium has been renewed some years back as the earlier one has lapsed, the statement said that this too should be rescinded in view of the fact that uranium is a radio-active mineral posing health hazards and environmental degradation through air, soil and water pollution and which radiation can be transferred to humans through various means and cause genetic modifications and defects as well, result in other complications.
“We would urge upon the people within the jurisdiction of the KHADC and other ADCs as per provisions of the Sixth Schedule not to be attracted to immediate monetary remuneration for the present at the cost of permanent dispossession of land, natural resources and sustainable livelihood and which oncoming generations will have to bear the brunt,” the forum added.
According to them, cash in any form will not last long but natural resources can remain forever if judiciously sustained and cared for.
It further reminded that UCIL is a Government of India corporation and its finances are met from the public exchequer contributed directly and indirectly by all bona fide citizens of India through various taxation processes and does not come from the pocket of some corporate and benign entity.
“Therefore any promise of road development and economic development by UCIL is like being attached to a fish hook and doesn’t come free of cost. In fact such development activities must come either or both from ADCs by enhancing their fund position and State Governments; not otherwise,” it added.