SHILLONG, April 17: Amid strong resistance to the proposed Umngot dam project, Meghalaya Chief Minister on Saturday said that the government needs to thrash out the issues with regard to the matter and get everybody on board.
Maintaining that it is a concern for the state government and asserting that they will speak to the people and work it out, the chief minister said, “There may be concerns that we need to identify, thrash out the issues and find out ways and means to minimise these concerns and damages and see how we can become totally self-sufficient in the power sector”.
Reasoning that one has to look at the overall scenario in the state, Conrad said, “There are power issues that the state is facing, therefore we need to ensure that we address those issues as well”.
“We are coming up with many power projects whether it is going to be thermal, solar or hydro, and therefore in all these issues and concerns, the ultimate goal is to increase the overall power capacity of the state,” he added.
Pointing out that if issues crop up with regard to specific projects, it is pertinent that the state government will have to resolve them. He added: “If there are concerns the people are worried about then we will try to address those concerns”.
“I feel that there are issues that we really need to look into. We will look into the issues and ensure that we carry everybody along and try to resolve it. However, we should also look at the overall interest of the state and realising the power crisis we have in the long run, we also need to find a solution,” he said.
Stiff opposition from at least a dozen villages has cast a cloud on the project involving the construction of a dam across the Umngot, considered to be India’s clearest river.
The villagers have been claiming that the dam would cripple tourism in Shnongpdeng, Dawki and adjoining areas. So far two public hearing on the issue have also been called off due to the resistance.