Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Ronnie slams govt move on industrial estate in Byrnihat


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 12: The Opposition Congress has questioned the move of the NPP-led MDA 2.0 Government to convert 107 acres of land of the Soil & Water Conservation Department and another 27 acres of land of the Agriculture Department at Byrnihat in Ri-Bhoi District into an industrial estate.
Opposition leader Ronnie V Lyngdoh on Wednesday demanded that the government should have highlighted this matter in the Assembly to allow the members to deliberate.
“The government cannot just rush without holding consultation on such an important decision,” he told The Shillong Times.
It may be mentioned that the 107 acres of land belonging to the Soil & Water Conservation Department is currently being used as a conservation training institute.
The state government through the Invest Meghalaya Authority (IMA) wrote to the Commissioner and Secretary, Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Department/ Soil and Water Conservation Department on this matter on June 5.
IMA Chief Administrative Officer, K Hynniewta stated in the letter that a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on May 3 decided that to ensure optimal utilisation of all government lands, there is a need for repurposing of such  land to further the objective of the government.
“Further, the Departments are also requested to work out the modalities for the transfer of the land to Invest Meghalaya Authority (IMA)/ Commerce and Industries Department,” the letter stated.
Lyngdoh said that the whole world is talking about the importance of protecting the environment without hampering development.
Admitting that industrial development was necessary, he said the state government should not sacrifice environment in the name of industrialisation.
Lyngdoh said the efforts of the state government to make the state a horticulture hub would become futile if they take away land belonging to the Horticulture department and convert it into an industrial estate.
Lyngdoh suggested that the state government should look at other areas for promotion of industrialisation without disturbing the present infrastructure of both the Soil and Water Conservation and Horticulture departments.
He also pointed out that people of the area have been affected due to the pollution from the industrial units.
It may be recalled that Byrnihat was declared as the most polluted ‘city’ in India during February as per data released by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).


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