Thursday, June 20, 2024

Govt yet to utilize Lafarge money


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Despite Lafarge Umiam Private Limited depositing over Rs 60 crore since 2010 with the State Government for the economic uplift of the villagers of Nongtrai, Shella, Mustoh and Dewsaw in East Khasi Hills, the benefits have not gone to the villagers.

Following a Supreme Court directive, the Lafarge Umiam Private Limted, which is extracting limestone in the areas in and around Nongtrai-Shella, had deposited the amount for compensatory afforestation and other economic activities to empower the villages.

A Lafarge official admitted that on the ground level, there are no signs of implementation of any projects aimed at empowering the villagers, though they had released the money.

“We came to know that a Special Purpose Vehicle Society was formed by Meghalaya Government to implement the programmes related to the uplift of the villagers in and around Nongtrai-Shella,” the official said.

According to the official, the villagers had submitted several project proposals, but in vain.

When contacted, the Chief Executive Officer of Special Purpose Vehicle Society and former Chief Information Commissioner, GP Wahlang, said that the Society has submitted a budget worth over Rs 18 crore to the committee headed by the Chief Secretary for the implementation of the projects to empower the villagers.

The committee headed by the Chief Secretary was constituted as per the direction of the Supreme Court to ensure the proper implementation of schemes which can uplift the villagers.

“We are waiting for the budget allotment by the committee so that the money can be released by us,” Wahlang added.


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