Mawhati MDC Charles Marngar has ripped into the conduct of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Ltd (MeECL), blaming the state-owned company for causing crores of rupees of damage to farmers’ property, produce and farm animals by the wanton release of large volumes of water from the Umiam Dam.
This monsoon season’s abundance of rainfall led MeECL to release water from the dam on a few occasions as a safety measure but Marngar slammed the company for apparently not giving those living downstream any warning.
“Farmlands and livestock of several villages downstream right from Umroi, Umden till Lamalong were all destroyed in the release of water from Umiam reservoir this year and the last time the water was released on October 24 there was no information or alert made by MeECL to the villages downstream,” Marngar told Highland Post today, adding that it was through good fortune that no human lives were lost.
“The destruction caused by the water released from the reservoir was so enormous that it washed away paddy fields, ginger and other produce and killed livestock,” he said.
Villages like Umtngam and Umshiaw were among the worst-hit, with some livestock carried away by the sheer force of the water and were later found dead in trees well above the ground.
“With so much technology and accurate weather predictions, why has the MeECL not released the water little by little when there is a prediction of heavy rainfall?” he said, adding that had the company informed the villages about the release on October 24 then they could have saved their livestock.
“I want an assurance from the CEM (Chief Executive Member) of the KHADC (Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council) Titostar Chyne to take up the matter with the government and the MeECL to see if the farmers who had to incur the loss of crores of rupees can be compensated in any way because these villages are all under the jurisdiction of the district council,” he said.