Former Union Minister of Forest and Environment Jairam Ramesh had sometime earlier in the month said that the centre should not brush aside the issue of uranium mining in Meghalaya.
“We should try to marry economic growth and environmental protection but there will be cases, instances and conflict between the two and when there is conflict between the two we must make conscious choices,” Ramesh told reporters soon after releasing his book, Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature at the Heritage Club in Shillong.
“Sustainable development comes when you protect nature and also promote economic growth,” Ramesh added.
It may be mentioned that the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) plans to develop large deposits of uranium in Meghalaya that has the potential to generate nuclear fuel for atomic power plants in the country.
However, the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) and centre has not been able to make much headway due to stiff opposition from the public on grounds of radiation emission and health hazards associated with it since 1992.
Despite getting the nod from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in December 2007, it has not been able to go ahead with the exploration.
On the NGT ban on coal mining in the state, Ramesh said, “Coal mining is environmentally devastating and unless we improve our system of mining it will have disastrous consequences and NGT did the right thing”.
Ramesh observed that the state should have eco-tourism in place that protects the environment and not blind tourism.
With inputs from: TNT
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