Amid protest and violence the public hearing for expansion of operations of the Meghalaya Cements Limited (Topcem) in Thangskai village concluded with waheh shnongs and some residents present to show support.
The public hearing which was held at the Topcem community hall was conducted by Additional Deputy Commissioner G. Warjri.
Speaking to reporters Warjri said a report will be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner.
Waheh shnong of Thangskai, Phaibiang Syrti said the no-objection certificate for expansion of the cement plant was given by three village dorbars of Thangskai, Wahiajer and Chieh Ruphi. He said the company has contributed towards the welfare of the people through the corporate social responsibility scheme and provided needed employment to the people.
According to Syrti on June 24, a dorbar was convened by the three villages at Wahiajer to discuss the expansion of the cement plant and the benefits that the people would gain from it.
Senior vice president of Topcem, Vikash Saraf said the company has documents to prove and agreements were made with the village and NOCs from the Elaka. “Villagers are in support of Topcem because we support them in their needs. We made roads, street lights, churches and gave employment,” he said.
Saraf said there are only a few people from villages with a malafide interest to create chaos and give an impression that the people are against it.
Meanwhile, the Voice of the People Party has said that the public hearing was not inclusive as those who were against the expansion were not allowed entry to the venue.
VPP leader, Damewanhi Rymbai said that the public hearing was attended only by those who support and by families of those working in Topcem. He demanded that the Meghalaya Pollution Control Board should consider the public hearing null and void since all the voices have not been heard.