Terming the uranium reserves in the state as a national property, Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang on Saturday said the uranium ore reserves in the state when mined would help meet the country's growing needs for energy.
"It is the duty of the state to subscribe to the needs of the country. Mining of the uranium ores in the state would support the need of the country," Lapang told reporters here, amid stiff opposition from various organisations like the influential Khasi Students Union (KSU) who oppose the proposed mining project.
Lapang said a team from the UCIL would visit the state this month to carry forward the pre-project developments works in and around the uranium areas of West Khasi Hills district.
The Lapang cabinet had last month decided to lease 422 sq hectares of land having uranium deposits in West Khasi Hills for 30 years to UCIL for "pre-project" developmental works.
The UCIL had agreed to earmark Rs 209 crore to carry out pre-project development programmes, including health care facilities, power, drinking water, educational institutions and roads.