IIT Guwahati, NEHU to conduct study on reported uranium leakages in Meghalaya

The Government had earlier decided to engage an expert agency to probe the reports of leakages from a concrete uranium storage tank in South West Khasi Hills.
IIT Guwahati, NEHU to conduct study on reported uranium leakages in Meghalaya
One of the Uranium storage tanks in Nongbah Jynrin. TNT Photos

SHILLONG:

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati and North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) will carry out an in-depth study on the reported leakages from a concrete uranium effluent tank at Nongbah Jynrin in South West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.

Informing this here today, Chief Secretary M.S. Rao said that the State Government had requested NEHU long back to carry out a study into this matter.

"NEHU has also started working on this," Chief Secretary said.

He, however, said that Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, after a discussion with a few of his Cabinet colleagues, felt that the government should rope in an 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 (the) telephone to the principal secretary that they will conduct the study. We are now just waiting to get a formal response from them," Chief Secretary informed.

According to Rao, IIT Guwahati will most probably take up the job as requested by the Meghalaya Government.

The Government had earlier decided to engage an expert agency to probe reports of leakages from a concrete tank, allegedly containing radioactive uranium waste at Nongbah Jynrin.

The district administration had already undertaken an inquiry into the matter and reported that there was no leakage.

But local groups and environmentalists were unwilling to accept the report and, pressurised the government to involve an expert committee, citing it as a major public health and environmental concern.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong had stated that the issue requires a detailed investigation by an expert agency.

"We would prefer a well-established expert agency from outside the State to carry out the in-depth study. We had also written to the Central Pollution Control Board as well as the North-Eastern Hill University," Tynsong had stated.

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