Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has cracked whip after reviewing the expert committee report on contamination at Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) mine due to the discharge of waste in the tailing pond in and around the Thummalapalli project in Kadapa district.

Member Secretary, APPCB Vivek Yadav said, “Based on the review and findings of the expert committee, APPCB has issued directions to UCIL and will review the compliance of the directions periodically.”

The PCB has directed the UCIL to form an environment management committee headed by senior officials trained in environmental issues. UCIL has been asked to provide impervious discharge channels or to use hose pipes to prevent erosion of the abutments and consequent seepage.

In addition, it has been directed to complete the greenbelt development of 360 hectares in the next two years and to plant the local species in consultation with DFO in Kadapa district. The company has been asked to submit an action plan to achieve target plantation within 15 days duly specifying the target plantation in the two monsoon seasons. The Greenbelt of 50m shall be developed along the boundary of the project, directed the APPCB.

They have been asked to take up avenue plantation along both sides of haul roads with double row staggered system.  The UCIL has also been directed to carry out health impact studies by dermatologist and radiologist due to the release of Radionuclide if any in the environment and to take necessary action as required.

Rain water harvesting structures of adequate capacity have to be developed at suitable locations duly considering the storm water runoff and geological formation and with prior approval, said the APPCB

On September 4, 2019 APPCB had formed a high-level expert committed to study the storage process of waste slurry in the tailing pond and check the groundwater quality of the surroundings at the Thummalapalli project.

On September 9 and 10 the committee visited the industry and the surrounding agriculture fields and submitted a report on September 11.

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