The quest for uranium deposits to meet India’s nuclear power goals has now reached a tiger reserve in Telangana. An expert panel on forests of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has recommended in-principle approval for a proposal by the central government’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) for survey and exploration of uranium over 83 square kilometres in Telangana’s Amrabad Tiger Reserve.
The proposal was considered by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) in its meeting on May 22, 2019. As per the minutes of the meeting, even though the FAC noted that there are “deficiencies in the proposal”, it recommended the project for “in-principle approval” considering that the project is “critical importance from national perspective.”
However, FAC stipulated that the approval is subject to the submission of all required documents and said that after “receipt of the same, the complete proposal may be placed before the competent authority for approval.” Following this, MoEFCC’s Deputy Inspector General of Forests Naresh Kumar wrote to Telangana government on June 19 requesting it to “submit the proposal along-with verified relevant documents” for identified boreholes for further consideration by the environment ministry.