Heard of India’s clearest river, Umngot? Maybe not. It’s time you should.
The Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd. has proposed the construction of a 210 MegaWatt power generating dam on Umngot. The river flows between the lush green East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia hills.
The project is estimated to submerge 297 hectares of land, affecting the lives of people living in 13 villages along the Umngot river. Some villagers also claim that the dam will affect tourism.
The first public hearing for the dam, which is mandatory to get environmental clearance, was held on the 9th of April 2021. This was interrupted by local protestors.
Although the project claims to provide hydroelectric power to the region, it severely lacks the details of its socio-economic benefits. Also, it does not highlight any resettlement and rehabilitation arrangements.
It’s time projects like these are more environment-centric and less profit-centric. Clear specifications must be given to the people who are most likely to suffer from loss of habitat and natural resources. Along with all, the environmental damage must also be mentioned. Better to talk about it now, when there is still time to stop or change it.
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