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KSU, headmen demand stopping of drilling activities

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT


SHILLONG, May 12: A delegation of headmen led by Sordar of Laitduh, W Lyngdoh and president of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) – South Khasi Hills district unit, M Bynnud representing 25 villages today met KHADC chief PN Syiem and demanding not to issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) for any drilling activities in the region.

The demand came after a tender was floated in some newspapers by the Atomic Energy Department for drilling activities in Laitduh village, on March 16 this year. Speaking to newsmen, Bynnud said that they along with the sengkynthei of the region who also came today has demanded the CEM KHADC not to issue NOC to any contractor or company to carry out this drilling activity in this region. “The CEM told us that this fully rely on the people of the area and if the people are opposed to such activity he also opposed it and will not issue any NOC to anyone,” Bynnud said adding that the tender however did not specify whether it was meant for drilling uranium or something else.

“We highly suspect that this is meant for uranium drilling. In the year 2002-2003, about 80 drilling holes of about 200 meters were dug in this region which had badly affected the health of people of this region and many were infected from diseases like cancer and tuberculosis and some have even lost their lives because of the harmful radiation that was emitted from these holes because of the presence of uranium,” he informed.

He also said that many river beds have also run dry because of the drilling activities and many aquatic lives have also vanished from these river systems and now people have to buy water.

The sordar claimed that before the drilling, there were no cases of people suffering from cancer but many people have suffered and died of cancer from the village in past few years after 2003.

He further informed that earlier, a meeting of the 25 villages was also held recently where they had unimously decided to oppose such move. The Laitduh and neighbouring villages has further appealed the KHADC not to grant permission for drilling in the area at any cost and to take the health of people and environment into consideration.

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