HYDERABAD: The IT and Industries Minister, KT Rama Rao, said on Sunday that the Telangana government has not given permission for uranium exploration in the Nallamala forest and that will not even give permission for it in the future as well.
Rao pointed out that the Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) does not need the permission of state government for uranium exploration in non-forest areas but as the proposal is for exploration inside the Nallamala forests, it had to seek the state government's permission.
Replying in the Legislative Council on behalf of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, he said that when the proposal came up for permission in 2016, the Telangana State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) in its meeting under the then forest minister Jogu Ramanna had clearly said that even if uranium is found to be present in the Nallamala forests during exploration, its mining will not be allowed.
Have announced the Govt stand on Uranium mining issue in Legislative Council today:— KTR (@KTRTRS) September 15, 2019
NO mining permission has been accorded by Telangana Govt
We will NOT permit any uranium mining in Nallamala forest area
Also, for the exploration, the SBWL laid down conditions which included, not a single tree should be chopped under any circumstances for the exploration and if bore wells are to be dug then the dug-up site should be restored.
Rao said that although the Congress government in 2009 had given permission for uranium exploration' over 2,000 Hectares in Nalgonda and the present BJP government wants to conduct uranium exploration in the Nallamala forests, the TRS government does not want to politicise the issue saying it is not giving permission for its mining.
Rao pointed out that incidents like Chernobyl nuclear disaster have led to fear and skepticism among people regarding uranium mining and its usage as fuel for energy production, uranium has other uses as well, including space applications. He said that no government would have given clearance for uranium exploration or mining with wrong motives. However, he reiterated that Telangana government would not be allowing uranium mining in the Nallamala forest.
He also said that there is no truth in the fear being spread by some people and media that uranium mining would lead to pollution of river Krishna and it will affect the people of Hyderabad, who rely on the river for drinking water.
He Tweeted on Sunday, "Have announced the Govt stand on Uranium mining issue in Legislative Council today: NO mining permission has been accorded by Telangana Govt We will NOT permit any uranium mining in Nallamala forest area."(sic)