SHILLONG, July 14: Two Joint Action Committees (JACs) today came out with two different stands on the construction of the Nongstoin-Wahkaji-Ranikor road in West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills districts.
The JAC comprising of the HANC, the Synjuk His Rangbah Shnongs (Village heads) and the land owners told newsmen that they wanted the two-lane road project to kick start at the earliest for the overall economic development of the areas.
The leaders of the JAC in a press conference said that they have nothing to do with the proposed uranium mining project of the Central government.
“We just want to push for the aspiration of the local population, who want the pending road project to see the light of the day,” they said.
They also met the Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), PN Syiem and urged him to issue the No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the executing agency under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH).
“We told him (CEM) to issue the NOC as assurances pouring in that the proposed road has nothing to do with uranium mining in Mawthabah,” stated Stalin Thongni, secretary of JAC.
Thongni claimed that the CEM had informed them that he will leave for New Delhi for a discussion with the official concerned before taking a call on it. On the other hand, the Joint Action Committee of Social Organizations (JACSO) of South West Khasi Hills vehemently opposed the construction of the two-lane road project.
“We are not against development in these areas. We simply wanted the construction of a single road lane and the budget earmarked for the double lane road should be channelized for proper connectivity to all the iccessible villages,” stated chairman of JACSO, Wallambok Syiemiong on Thursday.
“Our opposition to the double lane road is to thwart the evil intentions of facilitating the uranium extraction from the area,” stated Syiemiong.
The JACSO submitted a petition to the Chief Minister and the Liasoning Officer of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) on the issue asking to give up the idea of extracting uranium in the state.
The influential Khasi Students’ Union has already ban the entry of UCIL officials into the area which it is carrying out some exploration works.