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Quarry at Laitkynsew is illegal, says Dorbar

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Stone quarry on top of Wahniangleng reservoir operating for over 15 years

SHILLONG, Feb 4: The Laitkynsew Dorbar has no record of any documentation permitting the enormous stone quarry that has emerged on top of the Wahniangleng reservoir, which is located beneath the village.
Rangbah Shnong of Laitkynsew, Rangshel Myrthong told The Shillong Times on Sunday that the quarry was started by (L) Lamphrang Lyngdoh, former Sordar of Elaka Laitkroh.
In response to a question, Myrthong stated that he does not believe Lyngdoh received any approval or nod from the KHADC or any other government agency since he bypassed even the village dorbar.
Myrthong declared that the quarry, which has been operational for more than 15 years, is illegal.
“Quarrying began when I was not yet holding the position of Rangbah Shnong,” Myrthong, who is also the Elaka Laitkroh’s acting Sordar, said.
He claims that the former Sordar’s wife is currently in charge of the stone quarrying.
Myrthong stated that since there is no formal record in the village office, they have made the decision to investigate whether permission was requested for the stone quarry.
He continued, “We are extremely concerned since this stone quarry would affect the reservoir.”
The Wahniangleng reservoir is important because it feeds the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme that feeds the whole of Shillong.
Through this stone quarry, truckloads of boulders are shipped to Bangladesh every day.
The rivers that feed the Wahniangleng reservoir, according to locals, are already drying up. Actually, the reservoir supplies water to the Greater Shillong Water Supply System, which supplies tap water to every Shillong household.
The Forest and Environment Department, Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MPSCB) and KHADC said they have taken serious note of the stone  quarrying activities going on at the top of the Wahniangleng reservoir.
KHADC CEM Pyniaid Sing Syiem said that there is no official record that the council has issued any permission for stone quarrying in this area.
He said that he will be sending officials of the Council to visit the stone quarrying site and to submit a report.
MSPCB senior environmental engineer, Wanshan Kharkrang said that the matter has been referred to the Forest Department as it involves soil extraction for the purpose of brick making.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of East Khasi Hills & Ri-Bhoi (T) Division, Arul G. Mathuram said that they have received a report about this case.
“We are investigating and looking into this case,” Mathuram said.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Mineral Resources Department said that they will need to find out if any mining permit was issued by the department in this instant case.
“I will need to check the official records before commenting further,” the senior official added.

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