Hyderabad: The Telangana government has scrapped its earlier approvals granted to the Atomic Mineral Directorate for uranium exploration and mining inside the Nallamala forest reserve zone, saying it will disturb the wildlife in the area.
In its latest clarification, the state forest department said the government won’t even allow drilling to ascertain the presence of the radioactive element. All approvals and agreements made in December 2016 stand cancelled, it said in a letter to the AMD, Union Ministry of Forest, and the Wildlife Conservation Trust.
AMD had proposed to dig 4,000 bores to explore uranium reserves in the reserved forest. The new proposal of drilling bores is not acceptable to the state, said a senior official.
A clause in the Forest Act protecting nature and wildlife in Amrabad Tiger Reserve came as handy for the Telangana government. Citing the clause, the forest department said the AMD’s latest proposal will affect the wildlife in the Nallamala forest, said the official. The state’s Wildlife Board has passed a resolution banning any type of mining for uranium exploration in the tiger reserve.
KT Rama Rao, Telangana Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister, assured the Council (??) that the government would not allow uranium mining in Nallamala forest zone.
The Telangana government had accepted a resolution against uranium mining passed in the Assembly and Council. The forest department will adhere to the resolution passed in the Assembly, said the official. Earlier approvals to the AMD were also cancelled, he said.
“If uranium exploration is required for science and technology requirements, then AMD should send a new proposal to the state Wildlife Board. The Board will then decide on the methods and techniques used for uranium exploration without disturbing the wildlife and environment in the Nallamala forest zone,” he added.