Shillong: Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Chief Executive Member (CEM) Hispreaching Son Shylla on Wednesday expressed concern over the issue of ‘environmental refugees’.
According to Shylla, the effect of global warming may submerge the neighbouring country of Bangladesh forcing its citizens to take refuge in Meghalaya, thereby threatening the existence of the indigenous people of the State.
The CEM said that the KHADC will write to the State government to express the concern and appeal to it to communicate to the United Nations through the Centre the desire that the State should be exempted from accepting and providing shelter to 'environmental refugees’.
Replying to a motion brought by Nongskhen, Member of District Council (MDC), Grace Mary Kharpuri, during the KHADC’s Winter Session, Shylla pointed out that there are already 5 million Bangladeshis in India, including Meghalaya.
Painting a grim picture of the situation in Bangladesh, the CEM pointed out that with time that country is getting further submerged in view of the effects of global warming, and 80 per cent of its land is prone to floods.
“The submergence (under water) of the country will be a danger for the indigenous people like us as there is every likelihood of ‘environmental refugees’ trying to enter our land,” Shylla said. According to the CEM, the Inner-Line Permit (ILP), which the council has sought approval from the Meghalaya Governor for implementation within its jurisdiction, would act as a check on illegal immigrants.
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