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Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong said that they have already asked the Chief Secretary, M.S. Rao to decide on the organisation to carry out an in-depth study into the alleged reports of leakage of toxic waste from tanks containing uranium effluents at Nongbah Jynrin, South West Khasi Hills.
“We have left it to the Chief Secretary to find out the best appropriate organisation who has the expertise to conduct an in-depth study on the leakages of toxic waste from the concrete storage tank. He (Chief Secretary) has already sent a letter to a few organisations to take up the job,” Tynsong told reporters on Monday.
It may be recalled that Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati and North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) had accepted the request of the State Government to carry out an in-depth study on the alleged leakages of toxic waste.
“NEHU has also started working on this,” the Chief Secretary said. He however said that Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, after having a discussion with few of his Cabinet colleagues, felt that the Government should rope in one external agency to conduct the study.
“So we had approached IIT Guwahati to conduct an in-depth study on this matter. They have informally conveyed over telephone to the principal secretary that they will conduct the study. We are now just waiting to get a formal response from them,” Rao had informed.
KSU South West Khasi Hills unit president, Forwardman Nongrem said that both the educational institutions (IIT-Guwahati and NEHU) are centrally funded universities, and thus appear as “dependent agencies” and not “independent agencies”.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister had stated that the government felt that it was required for a detailed investigation by an expert agency into the alleged leakages of a radioactive uranium waste.
Meghalaya has about 9.22 million tonnes of uranium deposits, which is 16 per cent of the country’s total reserves and third-highest after Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. The Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) built these tanks in 1995-1996 to seal uranium decay and other remnants of the exploratory mining of uranium deposits.