Shillong: Four days after an expert committee from the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) found high radiation levels 100 feet from the source of rivulet Phud Syngkai, the Meghalaya government on Tuesday engaged a team of experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, to carry out further investigations.
The HEUH expert committee’s report came four months after news came of cracks and leaks from uranium effluent tanks at Nongbah Jynrin, which raised and renewed concerns about potential exposure of the people to radiation downstream.
A team of experts from IIT-Guwahati will now carry out a detailed investigation after examining the areas that saw higher than safe levels of radiation, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said on Monday.
Last year, the Meghalaya government had asked NEHU and IIT-Guwahati to carry out separate studies at the site. According to the report submitted by NEHU last month, radiation levels in uranium tanks at Nongbah Jynrin were within safe levels. The team, however, found that radiation levels were much higher than the safe limits about 100 feet away from the source of Phud Syngkai, a rivulet, which the team said required further study.
Based on the team’s finding, the government had decided to undertake a separate study on the rocks and sediments of Phud Syngkai and get them analysed at a credible laboratory to determine the exact cause of the radiation.
Meanwhile, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), who have been highlighting the issue of high and hazardous radiation levels, have now demanded an independent inquiry into the issue. The union found NEHU findings were doubtful and disputable.
Earlier, KSU members along with environmental economist Dr Bremley WB Lyngdoh had visited the sites and said the tanks allegedly containing uranium were leaking and emitting foul smell.