The public hearing for the Umngot mega dam project was put off today after villagers and pressure groups protested at the venue in Moosakhia.
A large number of people from Darrang, Shnongpdeng, Dawki, Lymba and Kongwang villages including pressure groups (KSU, FKJGP, JSU, JSM, HYC, HNYF, WJNC and others) reached the hearing site at Moosakhia and stalled the process before it could take place.
This comes after the public hearing at Siangkhnai village under Mawkynrew block in East Khasi Hills was stalled yesterday when villagers blocked officials to proceed to the venue in Mynsang village.
The two public hearings were scheduled by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board for the 210 MW Umngot mega dam project to be executed by the MeECL.
While Moosakhia village and Samanong, Sohmynting, Moopyut, Skenpyrsit Umsalang, Madantyrpait and other villages under Elaka Amwi are for the project, villages under Elaka Darrang, situated downstream of Umngot river, are up against the project for fear of displacement and loss of livelihood.
Rangbah Shnong of Samanong, Stanly Dkhar said that the public hearing should have been held so that all claims, objections and suggestions could be heard.
Waheh Shnong of Moosakhia, Deimon Suting said that the village has decided to allow execution of the project and criticised protestors who had objected to the public hearing. He said the government should go ahead with the project.
On the other hand, villages downstream of the Umngot River vowed to defend their lands and livelihood and said that they will not allow the crystal clear waters be ruined by a dam.