Hold intense dialogue before mining in Meghalaya: UN

Shillong: A representative of a United Nations body on Thursday said the Government
of India should hold intense dialogue with the local people, get their consent and then take up the uranium mining project in Meghalaya.

"Such projects need participation of the indigenous people. They should agree that they would like to have such a project on their land," Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Victoria Tauli Corpuz, told reporters here.

The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

Asked about the protests by various organizations in Meghalaya against the mining project, Corpus said, "The government should hold intense dialogue until they give their consent.

"By merely saying that such projects would bring in development is not enough. Development packages should not be used as enticement," she added.

It was the government's responsibility to ensure rehabilitation and ensure that the people were not impacted. she said.

She also said that local people should get equitable benefits from 'whatever profit comes out from these operations'.