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HC seeks report on radiation

Ranchi, Aug. 7: Jharkhand High Court today directed the Centre to constitute a technical committee of scientists and experts to examine the quantum of radiation due to uranium mining in Jadugora and sought a report within three months.

Uranium Corporation of India Limited, the company operating in the area in East Singhbhum, told a division bench of Chief Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Amitav Kumar Gupta that there was no radiation in the area as mining was done within set parameters.

However, the bench, which was hearing a PIL initiated by the court suo motu based on a news report published in an English daily, was not convinced.

Instead, it ordered the Union government to form a committee of experts from the department of atomic energy and development to study the extent of radiation caused due to uranium mining in Jadugora.

The court also sought suggestions from the committee and amicus curie Ananda Sen on ways to curb radiation levels in the area.

Based on the news report, the high court initiated the PIL on February 28 and issued notices to the Union government, department of atomic energy and development and UCIL, asking them to file affidavits. The news report claimed that uranium mining had led to increased levels of radiation which had adversely affected the health of the local population leading to congenital deformities in children, incidence of lung cancer and other diseases.

It also alleged that UCIL never disclosed radiation levels, all along claiming that everything was under control.