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ACHIK wants illegal excavation around heritage site stopped

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TURA, March 19: The ACHIK, a social organisation from Garo Hills, on Tuesday called for halt on all kinds of illegal excavation around Wadagokgre, a heritage site located in the region.
In a statement, the ACHIK said that the ongoing activity at the site poses a threat not only to the cultural heritage but also to the surrounding environment.
“The illegal excavation of earth in and around the heritage site of Wadagokgre poses a significant threat to both the cultural heritage and environmental integrity of the region. Wadagokgre, a sacred and historically significant site located in Meghalaya, India, holds immense cultural, historical, and ecological importance. However, the rampant illegal excavation activities, driven by greed and ignorance, endanger this invaluable heritage,” it said.
According to the organisation, the depletion of groundwater resources due to unregulated excavation threatens the availability of drinking water for local communities and wildlife. “Contamination of water bodies with toxic sediments and chemicals further exacerbates the ecological crisis, endangering aquatic life and compromising human health,” it added.
Raising the issue of influx of migrant workers and criminal elements associated with illegal excavation, the organisation said that it poses security risks and social tensions in the surrounding areas.
“Local indigenous communities, who have traditional rights over the land, often face displacement, marginalisation, and cultural alienation due to encroachment by illegal excavators,” the ACHIK felt.
Another issue raised by ACHIK includes the degradation of natural landscapes, which, it said, diminishes the tourism potential of Wadagokgre, depriving local communities of sustainable livelihood opportunities. “Eco-tourism initiatives, which could provide alternative sources of income while preserving the heritage site, are hindered by the environmental degradation caused by illegal excavation,” it added.
Pointing out that all these negative effects would pose a threat to the existence of the heritage site, the organisation demanded that the government and the district administration immediately put to a stop the illegal excavation of earth in and around the Wadagokgre heritage sit

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