From A Reporter
SHILLONG, April 27: ‘Illegal’ drilling and mining of uranium has been carried out by a company for the past nine months. The HYC today served a one-week deadline to the company to halt the activities.
The KHADC was also uware of the illegal activities happening under its jurisdiction.
An inspection was conducted by the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), South West Khasi Hills district, after the KHADC claimed that ‘no company has so far approached the district council for NOC for the purpose of drilling of uranium.
This drilling of uranium has been conducted by the Maheswari Company Private Limited in Wahkut area near Kulang village under South West Khasi Hills district since August last year.
The company went on with the drilling activities without taking the requisite permission from the authorities concerned like the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and the State government.
However, when brought to the notice of the KHADC here by a joint delegation of the HYC central committee and South West Khasi Hills district circle, the chief executive member (CEM) said that the district council was totally uware of the matter.
HYC central body president P. Lawai told reporters while producing photographs and videography taken during the inspection that “the company in the me of drilling has in fact carried out mining of uranium as stone-like particles were being extracted from the site.”
The HYC has served a one-week ultimatum to the KHADC, Lawai said and also demanded the district council to immediately lodged an FIR and ensure the people of the company are arrested for violating the laws of the land.
On asked, he said the company has violated the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act, Environmental laws, Labour and Trading laws besides not obtaining the necessary clearances like land and forest.
“The carrying out of drilling and mining of uranium by the company is also seen as an insult to the KHADC and even the state government,” Lawai said adding “This also shows that both the authorities has totally failed in this regard.”
The land in which the alleged drilling and mining is taking place belongs to the Nongbri clan from Kulang village in which the No Objection Certificate (NOC) was issued by both the Hima and village authorities.
“We also demand action against the Syiem and Rangbah Shnong of the Hima and village,” HYC-SWKHD president Barister C Nongsiej said.
According to him, the water that is being pumped out from drilling site will make its way to the rivers – Wahblei and Rilang - which are flowing to Ranikor, which also can be hazardous to the aquatic life.
“We would be compelled to resort to intensive agitatiol programmes if the KHADC fails to comply with the demands put forth by the council,” Lawai said.