Environment Ministry Panel Gives Approval To Uranium Mining In MP’s Betul To Boost Energy Security

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (Representative Image) (Indiawaterportal.org/(KKNPP)/Wikimedia Commons)

After approving Uranium mining in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana, an environment ministry panel has recommended for drilling boreholes for exploration of the Uranium in Betul of Madhya Pradesh citing international geo-political scenario and energy security as the reason, reports The New Indian Express.

According to the report, the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has recommended stage-I approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for search of uranium and minerals by drilling 300 boreholes with 4 inch diameter in an area of 1,650 hectare in Betul in favour of Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

The FAC observed that uranium is a strategic mineral and that the AMD is the sole authority for its exploration and upkeep. After thorough deliberation and discussion with the nodal officer of the state, the FAC recommended the project for approval.

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“Considering the current international geo-political scenario and energy security recommended to accord in-principle (Stage-I) approval,” according to minutes of FAC meeting held on 31 July.

However, the blocks where the DAE plans to carry out drilling is inhabited by Gond and Korku tribes, who have been agitating over not being allowed to enter forest area for collecting minor forest produce, which has been their source of living for years.

Earlier last month, the FAC has given approval for the Uranium mining in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana despite opposition from the forest department.

In a bid to expand the nuclear energy output of the country, the DAE is planning 21 new nuclear plants with a total installed capacity of 15,700 megawatt (MW) by 2031.

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