Shillong: The opposition to the proposed expansion of the limestone mining areas in Narpuh area of East Jaintia Hills by Star Cement Limited has multiplied with the Hynreiw Shnong Lukha Association (HSLA) joining the bandwagon. The public hearing is scheduled to be held by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control board (MSPCP) on October 19 and the elders of the areas residing within the periphery of the mining site have made it clear that they will oppose it.
Speaking to newspersons in Shillong on Monday, the chairman of the HSLA, W Talang said that their opposition is based on issues concerning the environment and the livelihood of the people within the surrounding areas. He reminded that the proposed area is within the fringes of the Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary and bio-reserve. Accusing the cement plants of being the major pollutants of the Lukha river to the extent that aquatic life has been seriously affected, Talang said, “If the 42.051 hectares of land is allowed to be used for limestone mining, imagine the impending catastrophe to wild and aquatic life besides the environment.”
“Eighty per cent of the people within the surroundings will be further affected”, he said while adding that they opposed tooth and nail to the proposed public hearing. Alleging the cement plants of deceit prior to the setting up of their respective plants in East Jaintia Hills, Talang said, “They promised to set up an ITI, to send our boys for training to get gainful employment but that has not fructified since 2010”.
The KSU and the East Jaintia Swimming Association have already decided to oppose the public hearing.
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