At one side is the protecting the interests of the tigers and Chenchu tribals. The other side is pursuing uranium mining in Telangana state. The former has won for now. The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), Hyderabad under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has decided to ‘shelve’ the project. That means no drilling of boreholes in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR). The drilling was to prospect for the yellowcake, a form of uranium ore. Uranium is a fuel of nuclear power reactors.
An expert panel on forests of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in 2019 had recommended in-principle approval. This was for a proposal by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). For survey and exploration of the uranium over 83 square kilometres in the tiger reserve.
Facing opposition from environmental groups, conservationists and NGOs, the Telangana government and the state wildlife board consistently rejected the project during the last two years. The key grounds were many. One: the threat to the tigers and wildlife. Two: water pollution. Three: damage to the habitation where the Chenchu tribals reside. And four: the long gestation period which was detrimental to the overall forest reserve.
The full article was published by The Wire on April 10, 2021.