Villagers of Shymplong in East Jaiñtia Hills district today came out in large numbers and attended a black flag protest against the public hearing scheduled at Khliehriat to decide on issuing mining lease to Star Cement Company Limited.
Besides the villagers, anglers too joined the protest along the banks of the Lukha River with an objection that the mining project will have a severe impact on the environment especially the river.
Wahehshnong of Shymplong Apstoling Syih said allowing the proposed mining to go ahead will not only affect the livelihood of the villagers sell the fishes they catch from the river in the market, but it will also affect the health of the people who are dependent on the river for drinking water.
Secretary of the village, Pherbak Lamare said while the government talks about clean water and clean rivers, allowing the cement company to mine limestone at Brichyrnot could spell another disaster for the Lukha River, which has turned blue in the past.
The Dorbar Shnong Shymplong also urged the government to stop the public hearing to save the river, which is a source of livelihood for many people and the aquatic lives in it.
It may be mentioned, that objections to the public hearing scheduled for November 21 at Khliehriat have been raised by a number of organisations in the state.
This has not been the first time that a public hearing has been organised for the mining project at Brichyrnot; in fact, this would be the fourth attempt before the Star Cement could mine limestone from an area of 42 hectares.