VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board will send an 11-member expert committee to inspect Uranium Corporation of India Limited’s uranium mines in Tummalapalle, Velpula, Medipentla and Kottala villages of Vemula Mandal in Kadapa district on September 9 and 10.
The committee members have been asked to inspect the uranium mines and surroundings and submit a detailed report on September 11. During their inspection, the committee members will study the impact of tailing pond on groundwater, the status of borewells with reference to groundwater and radioactivity impact on groundwater. They will also study the impact on agriculture and horticulture, and other relevant issues.
Dr LR Bishnoi, Head Nuclear Projects Safety Division, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Mumbai, Dr EVSSK Babu, Senior Principal Scientist, National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad, Dr Suresh Jain, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environment Engineering, IIT, Tirupati, Dr Prasanna Venkatesh Sampath, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environment Engineering, IIT, Tirupati, Dr Shihabudheen M Maliyekkal, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environment Engineering, IIT, Tirupati, Professor M Jagannadha Rao, Head of the Department of Geology, Andhra University College of Science & Technology, Visakhapatnam, Dr P Syamala, Head of the Department, Physical Chemistry, Nuclear Chemistry and Chemical Oceanography, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, B Nageswara Rao, Deputy Director, Groundwater Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, C Mohana Rao, Deputy Director, Mines and Geology Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, N Ch Balu Naik, Deputy Director, Agricultural Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, D Madhusudhana Reddy, Deputy Director, Horticulture Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, are the members of the expert committee which will visit uranium mines in Kadapa.
The committee was constituted following the directions of the State government, which took the complaints of reported groundwater pollution due to uranium mines seriously. For the past 18 months, people in various villages of Vemula Mandal have been complaining that harmful waste from the mines is percolating into the earth, polluting groundwater. They said it is not only causing ill-health among several people but also damaging crops — both agriculture and horticulture.
Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy had lodged complaints with the Pollution Control Board several times on the issue. After issuing a show-cause notice to UCIL, the APPCB summoned UCIL officials for a hearing on September 5 and they were directed to submit a plan of action within a week.