GSI takes steps to allay fears among locals

SHILLONG: The Geological Survey of India North Eastern Region (GSI NER) has emphasised the need for awareness on its yearly activities to allay fears among locals.
Speaking to a section of the media, GSINER director of the Meghalaya unit JK Naik said people are apprehensive about the activities of GSI and “the first and foremost job” would be to contact the local administration, starting from deputy commissioners and right down to the village level, and inform them about the activities to be taken up in a particular year.
“GSI draws field programmes in April every year and we seek permission from village heads, landlords and clans yearly,” informed Naik.
Citing an example, Naik said geological officers often visit landslide-prone areas for gathering information, “which is of a societal concern”, and it becomes easier for people to understand if there is awareness.
It may be mentioned that masked miscreants assaulted two geologists and torched their vehicle last month. The scientists were carrying out mapping work for bauxite.
“Once we get the consent from the local heads, we will work,” Naik said, adding that GSI is not doing any harm.
The superintending geologist of GSI NER, Debabhuti Mukherjee, said GSI is doing research to know about geological significance and the activities carried out by it is a knowledge base for people.
“When we are working at geological sites, we want people to understand and know that this is for them,” she said, adding that people should understand the importance of preserving the geological wonders present in the state.
Mukherjee informed that GSI would take into consideration the sordars of respective villages.

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