Construction firm ‘illegally’ runs stone crusher in EGH

WILLIAMNAGAR, Nov 13: A Guwahati-based construction company called Midas Constructions is allegedly in the docks after it ran a newly set up crusher in the village of Rongsak under Samanda C&RD Block in East Garo Hills (EGH) despite not having the requisite permissions for the operation of a stone quarry in the area.
The matter was brought to light after residents from around the area informed on the issue.
The company won the contract to upgrade the Asanang to Williamnagar road in an auction last year and work on the project has already begun though the pace is slack. They are also involved in many such contracts in the state of Meghalaya.
A visit to the site of the stone crusher showed that stone chips were being crushed by the machines set up in the area though there was no manager at the site. When the manager was contacted on the permissions that they had obtained they sought time to provide the information.
The manager of the firm at Rongsak later messaged with permissions from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) but these only related to a hot mix plant and the setting up of a stone crusher unit. They, however, are yet to get permission from the SPCB for the setting up of a quarry from where stones are to be carried to the crusher.
The two permissions were obtained in July this year.
However, the operation of the crusher has raised several serious questions as the stones being used seem to have been brought from the Simsang River bed, located just nearby. The company personnel at the site stated that the stones were not being picked by them but brought and sold to them by locals. They are currently testing the machines, something that they seem to have been doing for close to two months now.
“It is a matter of concern that the company is allegedly using stones from the river as it could have huge environmental repercussions. This has to be stopped immediately and the crusher only allowed to operate once they have all the requisite permissions from the various departments,” said a resident from Rongsak.
When contacted on the matter, the DFO of East Garo Hills, Sathish K, who is currently on leave, said that they had obtained a ‘non forest land’ letter from the office but till the time of his leaving, no permissions had been given for the quarry, despite their application for the same. He is expected to return tomorrow to the office and will look into the matter.
Meanwhile, another crusher unit run by the same company in Rongdenggre in West Garo Hills has also come under scanner. As per sources, the company is yet to obtain a stone quarrying licence there as well though the same could not be independently verified.

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