Regional

M’laya villagers welcome project bypassing uranium-rich area

Correspondent Shillong, Feb 13 | Publish Date: 2/13/2020 11:14:39 AM IST

A pro-road project group has welcomed the decision of the Meghalaya government to build a road that will bypass the uranium-rich area in South West Khasi Hills. Estimated at a cost of over Rs 300 crore, the proposed road will link Nongstoiñ, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills district with Wahkaji, but not the Mawthabah area, which is Uranium-rich deposits in South West Khasi Hills district.

However, anti-uranium groups were opposing the proposal to build a two-lane road from Nongstoiñ to Wahkaji and Mawthabah alleging that the objective of linking the road up to Mawthabah was to facilitate mining of uranium.

There was a proposal by the Centre through the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) to mine uranium from Kylleng-Pyndengsohïong-Mawthabah (KPM) area in South West Khasi Hills district and set up a processing plant at Mawthabah. The state government has dropped the proposal to link the road up to Mawthabah and urged the Centre to consider the project only from Nongstoiñ to Wahkaji about 43 km costing more than Rs 300 crore.

“We are happy that the government has decided not to include Mawthabah as part of the road project,” Joint Action Committee on Two-Lane secretary Zandy Myrthong told reporters after meeting Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong

 The JAC urged the government to speed up the road project from Nongstoiñ to Wahkaji for the benefit of the people.

“The question of linking the road to the uranium area is not there anymore because an existing road from Wahkaji to Mawthabah is already owned by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, except few stretches owned by individuals,” Myrthong said. Moreover, he said the Meghalaya government and the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council have already decided not to allow uranium mining in the area and there is no doubt about the proposal to improve the road from Nongstoiñ to Wahkaji.

 

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