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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Garo Hills villagers seal stone quarry after authorities turn a blind eye

TURA, Feb 20: Villagers from Chokpot area of South Garo Hills have sealed off a stone quarry that has been damaging the ecosystem of the area and threatening a river which is the lifeline for dozens of villages after authorities turned a blind eye to their complaints for well over a year.

The site of the stone quarry is located in the Budugre village of Chokpot civil sub-division jurisdiction which has been the bone of contention between the villagers and the quarry operators.

Various organizations of Chokpot went to the quarry site on Tuesday and witnessing the scale of destruction of the adjoining forest and the river below decided to seal it.

“We have been raising this issue of illegal quarrying time and again for many months and even lodged complaints with the concerned departments. We even approached the local MLA and also wrote to the chief minister and the Tura MP seeking a stop but no steps were ever taken. This is why we decided to close it down ourselves,” stated the Chokpot residents in a communiqué to the media.

Those operating the quarry had claimed to have obtained permission from the land owner but Chokpot organizations maintain that it was done for a monetary benefit at the expense of the environment and the river used by villagers as a lifeline.

“We want to send a strong message to the people who have engaged in such illegal and damaging activity that we will never tolerate such action and will spare no effort to stop such activity at any cost. To the people who do not want to take note of the objective of our objection, we would like to tell them that stringent measures will be taken in the days to come if our concerns go unheeded,” warned the Chokpot organizations.

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