'Uranium deposit' in Kalasapura worries villagers

If at all mining operations start, then people will not be permitted to reside
Last Updated 10 October 2010, 16:37 IST
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Today its only fear, uncertainty and anxiety that is evidently shown on each and every villager’s face.

“We want to live in this village. My house is in a dilapidated state and hence I had plans to pull the old house down and build a new house. Now I do not have the courage to invest lakhs of rupees on building the house because our future is vague,” says Rajanna from Kalasapura village. The fear that they will be asked to leave the village today or tomorrow is haunting each and every villager.

It is said that about 30 years ago atomic researchers had come to Kalasapura and conducted various kinds of surveys and research at Rangappanagudda to ascertain Uranium deposits there. Rajanna recalls that the scientists had said that mining can be started at the hillock after 30 years.

“Ever since the scientists said that we have been living in fear. Our life has changed since then. Today we think twice even before digging a borewell for our farms,” he says urging the district administration and Department of Mines and Geology to give clarification on the same.

If at all mining operations start at Rangappanagudda, then people will not be permitted to reside in 8 kms radius of the hillock, which means residents of villages like Devagondanahalli, Galihalli, Kattethimmanahalli, Kalasapura and Eshwarahalli will have to vacate their houses and settle elsewhere.

Gram Panchayat President Dattathreya says that in 1976, there were talks that superior quality Uranium deposit is there at Kalasapura and the then prime minister Indira Gandhi had expressed her happiness over the fact too.

Though the study was conducted 30 years ago, the villagers have been living in a confused state for three decades.

Even today, they have not been able to know if it is for true or the Uranium deposit is a rumour, which they need not pay heed to.

Department clarifies

District Mines and Geology Officer Kodandaramaiah has said that Scientist B P Radhakrishna has stated in his book ‘Mineral resources of Karnataka’ that Kalasapura has minimum Uranium deposit. “This quantity is not sufficient to carry on mining operations. Hence, neither is the Centre nor is the State thinking of mining operations at Kalasapura. Tender for Uranium mining has been called for at Googly village in Belagavi district. The villagers are panicking unnecessarily,” said Kodandaramaiah.

(Published 10 October 2010, 16:35 IST)

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