NCP demands probe on illegal cement plants in Meghalaya

Shillong, Oct 13 : The Opposition Nationalist Congress Party in Meghalaya today demanded an independent inquiry into the use of forest land and lime stones scattered in the forest area by cement companies without obtaining environmental clearance.

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest had issued a letter to the Meghalaya government questioning the 'No Objection Certificate' issued to the eight cement plants operating in Jaintia Hills without getting environmental clearance.

''The government must institute an independent probe into the illegal setting up of these cement plants and mining of limestone’s in forest areas,'' Leader of Opposition Conrad K Sangma told reporters here.

He said a delegation of NCP leaders would also take up the issue with the central government to initiate action against these cement companies.

''We are not against economic industrializations, but we are against this form of industrialization violating environmental norms,'' Mr Sangma said.

Meghalaya Forest and Environment Minister Prestone Tynsong said the government had constituted high-level committee as per the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court into these issue.

''All doubts over the mining activities of the cement plants would be cleared once the Committee submits its report in November,'' Mr Tynsong said.