Uranium mining in Vemula a curse on farmers

Published: 21st August 2012 08:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2012 08:20 AM   |  A+A-

 The much-touted uranium project has proven to be a curse on the farmers of villages adjacent to the project area in Vemula mandal.

 The miners have been continuously pumping out ground water, on which most of farmers had been depending upon for their agricultural needs.

 With ground water fast depleting after uranium mining was taken up in the 19 sq km area, in Tummalapalli, Rachakuntapalli, Bhumaiagaripalli and KK Kottala villages, around the mining area, farmers now lament that they are not able to get water even at a depth of 1,000 ft.

 The villages which used to be lush green with commercial crops, cultivated with abundant ground water, making the area look like the verdant Konaseema, the granary of the state, is now gradually turning barren, with farmers one after the another giving up farming.

 There is virtually no water for the crops.

 The day is not far, when these villages will become arid and resemble a desert, with no crops, no greenery.

 Uranium mining has been going on in full swing and has disturbed all the natural springs underneath.

 Earlier, water was available at 400 ft, but now one has to go down to a depth of 1,000 ft, to get some water.

 In Rachakuntapalli, a farmer Rosaiah said that he was leading a happy life, with an earning of `1 lakh annually.

 He was now worried how he was going to sustain his family.

 He said that, he had drilled nearly 16 times unsuccessfully for water, in his 3-acre field.

 This was after the existing borewells, with a depth of over 100 ft, had dried up.

 “What I got is not water but a receipt for `10 lakh from the borewell drilling company” he lamented adding that my field is now parched and unable bear the calamity, my wife died heartbroken in the field itself, after the last attempt to dig a borewell too failed”.

 The fate of nearly 1,200 farmers in the villages around the uranium mining project taken up in 2008, is more or less the same.

 Most of the borewells, which were hitherto pumping three inches of water sufficient to take up commercial crops like banana, turmeric, groundnut and others have dried up.

 Water depth has been systematically going down the last four years.

 The farmers are in a state of panic as they are very worried over the future.

 With the mining going on intensively, water may completely disappear from the region.

 Many farmers rue the decision

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