SHILLONG, April 12: Despite vehement protests against the proposed 210-MW Umngot Hydroelectric Project, the state government is in no mood to back out and is reportedly going ahead with the project.
An official from the Power department informed today that the government is not going to back out of this project since it is anticipating that the Umngot project is likely to make the state self-sufficient in power supply.
The official, on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the government had taken all concerned stakeholders on board before deciding to go ahead with the project and added that vested interests were trying to spread rumours in an attempt to disrupt the project.
“We are trying to alleviate all the concerns raised by the villagers,” the official said while reminding that the detailed survey for the Umngot project began 10 years ago and “was not started just yesterday”.
The official also said that the government is doing its best to ensure that the project gets under way at the earliest even though a lot of details have to be worked out.
Stiff resistance from at least a dozen villages has cast a cloud on the project involving construction of a dam across the Umngot, considered to be India’s clearest river. The villagers have been claiming that the dam would cripple tourism in Shnongpdeng, Dawki and adjoining areas.
Protesters had disrupted two proposed public hearings called by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board on April 8 and 9.