The Joint Action Committee (JAC) against the Umngot Hydro Electric Project has urged the Meghalaya government to scrap the project completely. The Executive Committee meeting of JAC was held at the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) office in Shillong on Monday.
Talking to mediapersons, General Secretary of the Jaintia Students’ Union Treibor Suchen said that even though there has been a strong opposition from various stakeholders, the State government is adamant and wants to go ahead with the project.
Suchen added that the committee expects to meet Chief Minister Conrad Sangma soon. He stated that 20-25 villages would be affected by the Hydro Electric project.
The committee had earlier submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister last month, however till date the CM has not responded.
Meanwhile, Power Minister James Sangma said that all concerns, be it environmental or socio-economic in nature, will be addressed before going ahead with the project.
Sangma highlighted that the the project is essential as the state is reeling under acute power shortage and there is a need to ramp up power generation. However, it is up to the government to decide whether or not to scrap the project, he added.
He further said that all stakeholders will be consulted and only after addressing their concerns the government will take the decision.
Maintaining that he was not aware of all the details, Sangma expressed confidence about how the government has gone ahead with the project.
There is no question of the government trying to circumvent legal or procedural issues. It has done due diligence on the entire matter, said Sangma.
The state government’s proposed 210-MW Umngot Hydro Electric Project has been facing a backlash after several stakeholders opposed it fearing its impact on the environment and the Umngot river.
Earlier, the Joint Action Committee, comprising of several stakeholders had demanded that the project should be scrapped and that they will not entertain any more talks or discussions.