Shillong, July 13: The state government will examine the demand for scrapping the Umngot hydro power project, which will “affect over 20 villages dependent on tourism”.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met a delegation of the Joint Action Committee against the hydel project on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, chairman of the JAC and Doloi of Elaka Darang Pyrwa Lymba said the delegation had requested the chief minister to intervene by ensuring that the proposed construction of a dam on the Umngot is cancelled.
“This is because of the fact that implementation of the project would no doubt affect over 20-25 villages which are totally dependent on tourism in West Jaintia Hills district. These villages are generating revenue of not less than Rs 4 crore yearly from tourism,” he added.
The vice chairman of the JAC and president of Ka Kynhun ki Nongrep, East Khasi Hills, Pynskhem Mukhim said around 11-12 villages in the district would be affected by the proposed project.
JAC assistant secretary and secretary of Elaka Darang KM Ryngksai informed that the chief minister has assured the delegation that he would examine the proposal for construction of the dam.
To a query, the JAC leader said, “Although the government is yet to take a call on the issue, we have faith in the leadership of the chief minister.”
According to him, the JAC will support the state government in its endeavour to implement mini power projects to increase power generation.
M Nongrum, another JAC member, said Sangma informed the delegation about the need to consult with his Cabinet ministers before taking the final call. “But we insist that the government should cancel the project as it will only affect the future of the people and the region,” she added.