PDF leader and cabinet minister Hamletson Dohling has sought the intervention of Union Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar for withdrawal of the environmental clearance issued to Star Cement Meghalaya Ltd for expansion of its limestone mining project at Brishyrnot in East Jaintia Hills district.
“I request you to kindly reconsider withdrawing the said environmental clearance for the welfare of the people of the area and East Jaintia Hills district as a whole,” Dohling wrote in his letter to Javadekar on Monday.
Dohling who is currently holding charge of the Community & Rural Development, Information Technology & Communication, Soil and Water Conservation departments said that the issuance of environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Impact Assessment Division, the government of India was in spite of stiff opposition from villagers and NGOs in the public hearings held on three occasions.
“It seems that the environmental clearance has been issued based only on the recommendation of the Deputy Commissioner, East Jaintia Hills by considering exempting the said project from the requirement of the public hearing as a part of public consultation and written submissions only,” Dohling said.
He, however, said the villagers and various influential NGOs of the state have opposed allowing expansion of the said project since it will affect the environment and pollute the Lukha river and also affect the Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary located adjacent to the proposed mining area.