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Limestone, boulder mining polluting water bodies in War-Jaintia

From Our Correspondent

 JOWAI: Unscientific limestone mining in War-Jaintia, Amlarem Sub-Division in Jaintia Hills has become a cause of concern for residents of Nongtalang village and its surrounding villages who are facing an impending water scarcity in the area.

A huge quantity of limestone is exported to Bangladesh via Tamabil on a daily basis which has encouraged individuals in the area to start limestone mining.

The Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council has so far issued 21 numbers of NOCs (No Objection Certificates) for extraction of limestone, 25 NOCs to exporters and another 12 to transporters.

Concerned over the growing effects of limestone mining on rivers and streams in the area, villagers of the area recently constituted the Ka Tylli I Hun ki Nongtalang Organisation (TIHNO), besides holding a meeting with the War-Jaintia limestone-boulder exporters’ and miners’ association and Rangbah Shnong of the area.

The meeting was also attend by leaders of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) Nongtalang Unit and environment activist from Jaintia Hills, HH Mohrmen.

The meeting resolved to conduct a joint survey on Tuesday to assess the situation and to strategise means to control water pollution in the area.

Members of the newly-formed organisation alleged that rivers and streams which are the main sources of drinking water for several villages have been polluted due to rampant limestone and boulder mining in the area.

The Amsohmeheleng river in Nongtalang village and another river at New Nonglamin village have also become polluted due to limestone and boulder mining activities in the vicinity.

“The river water has changed into red colour. Normally the river changes its colour only during heavy rainfall but now, even when there is no rain, the water has turned reddish in colour,” TIHNO secretary E Pohchen said.

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