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Meghalaya no to N-plant

Shillong, May 9: Meghalaya deputy chief minister in charge of home H.S. Lyngdoh today dismissed as a mere claim the recent statement by Union minister of state for power Jairam Ramesh about setting up a nuclear power plant in Meghalaya.

Terming Ramesh’s statement as wishful thinking, he said there is no question of setting up a nuclear power plant in the state.

“We had not demanded anything in this regard and we will oppose setting up of the nuclear power plant in the state. We will also continue to oppose uranium mining in the state,” Lyngdoh said today.

“Unless the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) protects the lives of the people from radiation, we will never allow uranium mining in the state,” Lyngdoh said. He alleged that the UCIL was acting at the behest of the United States to mine uranium in Meghalaya.

Lyngdoh said the cabinet would meet next week to discuss the issues related to uranium mining, among others. He added that during the recent meeting with Ramesh, Meghalaya had never put forward any suggestion to have a nuclear plant in the state.

Ramesh met Lyngdoh and chief minister Donkupar Roy during his visit to the state last week and urged the government to allow uranium mining in the state.

The state government had, however, rejected the minister’s suggestion.

During the meeting, Ramesh had said uranium mining in Meghalaya was necessary to fulfil the energy requirements of the country. Assuring the state government of environmental safeguards before carrying out mining, he said it would greatly benefit the state and its people.

The atomic energy division of India had also given a detailed plan of approach on mining to the state government, taking into account the environmental concerns.

Ramesh, however, said last week that if the people and government were against the project, nothing could be done.

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