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Jaduguda Victim Highlights Danger

Organisations protesting the proposed mining for uranium in Vemula mandal of Pulivendula constituency on Friday got an activist from Jaduguda in Jharkhand, which houses a similar minimum, to explain the dangers.

Mr Sriprakash from Jaduguda told mediapersons that the jobs offered by the Uranium Corporation of India to the locals were a death trap. Those who work in the mines would be exposed to radon, a radioactive gas, for six to seven hours a day. The water sources in the area would turn radioactive due to the sludge from the mines.

He said families in Jaduguda experienced defective births, illnesses like lung infections and tuberculosis and unexplained health problems. The ore is milled to separate uranium from the other components. The components that emanate as waste cause severe health and environmental problems, he said.

The resentment against the mines in Vemula mandal is spreading to Pulivendula and other areas. "The State would have to withdraw the proposal otherwise we will launch an agitation," said Mr Obulesu, district president of the Uranium Vyathireka Porata Committee. The Left parties are in the forefront of the agitation against the proposed mine. "The entire area will become wasteland when the uranium extraction begins," Ms Jayasri of the APCLC asked.

03-03-2006 Deccan Chronicle