Nongwar village gets Khasi Mandarin nursery and plush community hall


SHILLONG, Jan 19: Nongwar is one of the villages which falls under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) ambit of Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt Ltd. Lafarge mines limestone from the Nongtrai area in East Khasi Hills and sends it to Chhatak in Bangladesh via conveyor belt.
Lafarge is not the only company that’s mining limestone in Meghalaya but it is the only company that has contributed towards livelihoods creation and ameliorating the possible damage to the ecosystem through plantation crops and trees around the 10km radius from the mine site.
Nongwar village near Laitkynsew falls within this ambit and quite a number of positive interventions have been made by the Supreme Court mandated Special Purpose Vehicle which works through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Society.
On Wednesday a nursery where over ten thousand Khasi Mandarin seedlings are being nurtured and will soon be put up for sale, was inaugurated by District Horticulture Officer, K Lakiang in the village.
Addressing the gathering where the self help groups and village elders had gathered, Lakiang said he felt encouraged that the village had undertaken to start this nursery for the Khasi Mandarin oranges as it had become scarce in recent times. “The Department might require to buy the seedlings from this nursery as the fruit has already got its geographical indication (GI) and is known across the country and abroad for its unique quality. However, we need to adopt better technology such as grafting and budding as the latter gives fruit in 3-4 years whereas growing the orange tree from seeds takes about 7 years to fruit,” Lakiang said.
Nongwar village wears a golden hue during this season as the oranges have ripened and are ready for the market. However, the Rangbah Shnong of the village, K Diengdoh said the absence of a 3 km long road from the orchards in Nongkroh to Mawryngkhong which is the backbone of the village creates a problem for farmers to bring the fruit to the local markets or to Shillong. He appealed to the Government to construct this connecting link at the earliest.
Later, a plush multi-purpose community hall was also inaugurated which was constructed under the aegis of the SPV Society.
Speaking at the function, CEO of the SPV Society, PS Dkhar, IAS and former Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills, urged the villagers gathered at the inaugural function to use the community hall to stimulate and build the intellectual capacities of young people in the village and also for all kinds of trainings that different government departments impart from time to time.
“This community hall is a community asset which should be owned, maintained and managed productively. It can be used to empower the youth intellectually and for capacity building of the villagers.”
Others who spoke at the function included the Rangbah Shnong, K Diengdoh, IZ Wreang, General Manager, District Industries Centre, West Khasi Hills, MF Wanswett, Dr Wanswett and representatives of Lafarge, amongst others.

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