BJP urges government to stop dumping nuclear waste in abandoned Kolar gold mines
Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday urged government to stop the dumping of nuclear wastes in abandoned Kolar Gold Fields in Karnataka.
BJP supporters led by Ananth Kumar, met Karnataka Governor H R Bharadwaj to register their protest over the issue and seek the latter's constitutional intervention, saying that the dumping of nuclear wastets would infect many people in both the short and long term.
Kumar said that the government has run laboratory tests in the area.
"They have been conducting laboratory test in KGF and we all know that there has been almost closure of (Kolar Gold Fields) and there is every possibility that the Kolar gold field may be used as a dumping yard," Kumar said.
The row over the nuclear waste dumping site comes amid the long going row over the establishment of the nuke power plant at Koodankulam which has already seen a lot of unrest among the activists.
According to nuclear physicists, although nuclear fuel waste is harmful, it can lay buried forever if disposed in a scientific manner.
The reported conversion of the gold mines into a nuclear waste dump has surprised the KGF residents as well as environmentalists because there had recently been talks of reviving the long closed gold mines into work.
Declared sick and shut down in 2001, the government cleared the proposal to revive the mines, after three Parliamentary Standing Committees to explore gold deposits in KGF submitted a report stating that at least three million tonnes of gold reserves lie unexploited.
Initially, during the colonial era, the British owned the mines in KGF and later the Maharaja of Mysore took them over before the federal government nationalised the mines and brought these under the administration of Bharat Gold Mines Limited.
The row over the KGF may fan the flames of the issue of the power plant in Koodankulam further as activists could launch scathing attacks on the government's proposals.
Protest against the power plant has boiled over the past year, while nuclear fuel has already been loaded in the plant.
While much of the world is turning its back on nuclear energy, the villagers of Kudankulam, in a part of India hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, say their government is gambling with their lives by opening one of Asia's first new nuclear reactors since the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.