Shillong: The Khasi Students Union (KSU) Narpuh circle has decided to oppose the proposed public hearing for the expansion of mining lease/ mines by Star Cement. The scheduled hearing is on October 19 and the Khasi Students Union submitted a memorandum to the Member Secretary of the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MPSCB) on Friday.
The memorandum stated, “We hereby apprise your office that the union strongly objects to the expansion of mining lease/mines by Star Cements at the landed property located at Brichynot village having an area of 42 .051 hectares. The objection is on the fact that the area under for the proposed expansion is a forest area near the Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary and the Lukha river”.
The KSU listed five points for opposing the expansion of the cement plants. They cited the threat to the Lunar river which is now considered as a dead river with no living species due to contamination. The other is the threat to the Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to the hillock gibbons and various animals, birds and butterflies.
The KSU while expressing its concern over any further expansion of mining by the cement factories also said that the cement plants located in the area does not have effluent treatment plants to treat the waste that is being discharged from the cement plants and limestone quarries. It is to be noted here that East Jaintia Hills has numerous cement plants and most are located in and around the Narpuh forest.