Meghalaya: Trees Hewed Down For Construction Of A Four-Lane Road Along The Pomlum Stretch

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Posted in Featured, Meghalaya


  • NET Web Desk

On Tuesday, June 22, Shillongites especially the youth were outraged when the ever-familiar English pines along with the Eastern Air Command were hewn down by the PWD.
These trees were cut down in the the 7th Mile Upper Shillong stretch of the National Highway for the expansion of the Shillong-Dawki-Tamabil highway.

Funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the project was first questioned on environmental grounds in 2015. However the Union Minister of Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju visited Dawki in Aug 2017 to lay the foundation stone for the Land Customs Stations (LCS) which also incorporated the Shillong-Dawki road project.

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma was distraught when the images of tree stumps started making rounds.
“These images are indeed disturbing I have asked NHIDCL to stop it immediately till we can find a better solution. We need to balance between development and environment.” – tweeted by Conrad Sangma, the Meghalaya CM.

While through another tweet, he reassured that the Pine Trees shall not be touched. “After the team from PWD led by ACS (PWD) visited the site the iconic stretch is mostly intact and not touched and will not be touched. We are further examining the matter.” – further added Sangma.

In the tussle between development & conservation, Meghalaya has been facing such environmental repercussions for years. Truckloads of fallen trees brazenly crossing the borders is a testimony to that.

Meanwhile, the illegal coal mining projects in the state is not only taking a toll on the environment but killing miners as well.Development projects are breaking the age-old human nature symbiotic existence maintained in Meghalaya. It is affecting the local population, their livelihoods and their relationship to nature. One such being the 210 MW Hydroelectric project proposed to be implemented on the Umngot river.

Over the years, this river has grown to be a major source of livelihood for people living in its vicinity. Fishing and tourism are significant sources of their incomes. Considered to be one of India’s cleanest rivers it might soon have to lose its uniqueness as the hydroelectric project over it has received the necessary clearances.

Similarly, the green nod to limestone mining projects to several private companies in Meghalaya is equally alarming. One such limestone mining project has recently received a go-ahead from the NGT. Located near the Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary and Wah Lukha-such projects like this may cause immense harm to the pristine greenery of Meghalaya.

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