తెలంగాణలోని అమ్రాబాద్ పులుల అభయారణ్యంలో యురేనియం మైనింగ్ చేయాలనీ కేంద్ర ప్రభుత్వం సూత్రప్రాయంగా నిర్ణయం తీసుకుంది. అయితే దీన్ని అటవీ అధికారులు వ్యతిరేకిస్తున్నారు. జాతీయ పులుల పరిరక్షణా సంస్థ అనుమతి లేకుండా ఎటువంటి డ్రిల్లింగుకు మేము అనుమతించమని ఇండియన్ ఎక్ష్ప్రెస్స్ పత్రికతో అటవీశాఖ ఉన్నతాధికారి చెప్పారు. ఈ పులుల సంరక్షణా కేంద్రం మహబూబ్ నగర్, నల్లగోండా జిల్లాల్లో 2,800 చదరపు కిలోమీ విస్తీర్ణంలో నెలకొన్నది. దీంట్లో 83 చదరపు కిలోమీటర్లు విస్తీర్ణంలో మైనింగ్ జరపాలని డిపార్ట్మెంట్ అఫ్ ఆటమిక్ ఎనర్జీ భావిస్తున్నది. పులుల అభయారణ్యంలో యురేనియం మైనింగ్ నిర్ణయం పట్ల పర్యావరణ వేత్తలు, మానవహక్కుల ఉద్యమకారులు ఆందోళన వ్యక్తం చేస్తున్నారు.
Centre nod to drilling, Telangana forest officer says won’t let anyone in…
The tiger reserve, which also holds leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs, spotted deer, sambar and wild boars, is spread over 2,800 sq km in Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts of Telangana.
With the Centre granting “in-principle” clearance for uranium exploration in Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana, despite objections by forest officers, Telangana’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests P K Jha has said they won’t allow anyone inside to drill unless full approval is given by the National Tiger Conservation Authority. “We did not allow it till now though the proposal is two-three years old,” Jha told The Indian Express
The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), had submitted a proposal to carry out survey and drilling of boreholes in four blocks of the reserve, of which three are located inside its core tiger protection area known as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. “The aim is to establish uranium deposits in these areas,” the DAE had said.
The Centre gave the clearance at a May 22 meeting, with a Forest Advisory Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change noting that, “… considering the fact that the proposal is of critical importance from national perspective, it is recommended for in-principle approval, subject to submission of all required document/information in due format. After receipt of the same, the complete proposal may be placed before the Competent Authority for approval.”
The tiger reserve, which also holds leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs, spotted deer, sambar and wild boars, is spread over 2,800 sq km in Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts of Telangana. The DAE is seeking permission for survey and exploration of uranium over 83 sq km, though the AMD has not specified the exact locations of the drilling. Forest officials point out that this further makes it difficult for them to determine the possible damage due to the drilling.
In an inspection report submitted in response to the DAE proposal, ahead of the May 22 meeting, the Field Director, Amrabad Tiger Reserve (who didn’t want to be named), warned against the danger posed to “one of the biggest tiger reserves in the country” and said, “The disturbance to the habitat will be immense even for exploration purpose… The flora and fauna will be adversely affected and a lot of disturbance will be caused for wildlife.”
The field director also questioned how the exploration agency was giving an undertaking that no trees would be cut, when there is no road or path leading to the blocks to be surveyed. “How will the agency transport machinery for drilling into the areas? The agency has not clearly spelt out,” the report states.
Pointing out that efforts were on to create a tiger corridor in Blocks 3 and 4, the report says, “The environmental impact of mining will include erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes… The contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals will also affect the health of the native wildlife.”
Courtesy Indian Express