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GSU leader’s proposed quarry near tourist site opposed by Chokpot groups

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 Tura, Mar 11: Combined organizations from Chokpot in South Garo Hills on Monday strongly condemned and opposed the proposed move to operate a stone quarry in the vicinity of famous waterfall- Re’nang Dare at Nokatgre in the same district, over fears that it would badly impact the popular tourist site and lead to its destruction.

The waterfall is believed to be the highest in Garo Hills and the groups have vowed never to let the activity take place. The opposition to the move has been all the more intense given that the owner of the proposed quarry is none other than GSU leader from Mindikgre and social activist, Greneth M Sangma, who had been instrumental in taking up such issues in the past.

“Greneth M Sangma claims to be a social activist and has also taken up many issues and filed RTIs on irregularities in the government and its departments. But now he wants to destroy one of the famous tourist attraction sites from the district. Is this right? What is the use of your being a social activist? Being an NGO leader yourself in the past, do you think it is acceptable?” the combined organizations questioned, in a statement.

The groups claimed that the villagers were left in the dark about the proposed stone quarry as no meeting was held with them on the matter and that Greneth had secretly obtained the necessary papers without seeking their consent. The groups also put a part of the blame on the district’s DFO alleging that the official had been known to issue NOCs randomly without considering the pros and cons.

Pointing out that the GHADC was the sole authority when it came to land under the Sixth schedule, the groups asserted that even the state government could not authorize the activity without clearance from it.

“We urged Greneth to withdraw the proposal for the sake of peace. If our request is unheeded and work proceeds on the quarry, organizations from the entire South Garo Hills come together and undertake a massive protest,” they warned.

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