Mining to start in uranium-rich Bhima belt soon

Deposits are the second best in quality, only after those found in Jharkhand

According to Regional Director Ashwini Kumar Rai of the Atomic Mineral Directorate for Exploration and Research, Southern Region, Bangalore, uranium deposits found at Gogi in Shahapur taluk, about 80 km from here, are the second best in quality, only after deposits found in Jharkhand.

Ashwini Kumar Rai, who was in Gogi on Tuesday to take part in the centenary celebration of eminent nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha, organised by the Uranium Deposit Centre of Gogi told Deccan Herald that the recent intensive survey carried out aerially in the Bhima belt has indicated very encouraging results about the presence of very rich uranium deposits. The survey was conducted from Sedam to Muddebihal.

At present, Ashwini Rai said uranium mining was going on only in about eight acres of land and it has been decided to carry out mining in 238 acres of land in Gulbarga district, Gogi and its surroundings. A proposal has been sent to the Deputy Commissioner for acquiring 238 acres of land to carry out uranium mining. About nine private companies have already been engaged in exploration of uranium. Deposits have been found in Uakkanal, Darshanapur, Hotapet in Shahapur taluk apart from Gogi, and in and around Tinthini in Surapur taluk. Mining will be taken up in these villages in a phased manner. Replying to a question, Rai said that right now the uranium extracted in Gogi will be utilised for nuclear power generation. However, he did not rule out the possibility of utilising it for other purposes.

The Regional Director allayed the fears of people of Shahapur taluk in particular and others in general about the pollution of air and water due to uranium mining, thereby posing a hazard to people’s lives. He denied that uranium mining would have any adverse effect on people’s health.

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