SHILLONG, July 10 – The opposition in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has described as ‘strange’ that the Executive Committee could not furnish details of Rs 18.37 crore spent on road construction in West Khasi Hills district.
The amount was allotted by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) for construction of a 20-km road from Wahkaji to Mawthabah in the district as part of a developmental package in 1996.
However, when the United Democratic Party-led opposition in the Council sought for details of the amount spent in the ongoing Council session, the Congress-led Executive Committee was unable to present information.
KHADC Chief Executive Member, Manstudy Nongrem said, the amount was excluded from the budget statement of the Council and so details were not readily available.
He added the Council was only assisting UCIL in construction of the road and therefore details were not readily available on how the amount was spent.
The Council’s opposition leader, Teinwell Dkhar termed Nongrem’s reply as “strange” and sought further information on the project.
Nongrem then informed that the fund received from UCIL has been totally excluded from the Council’s budget by opening a joint bank account with the UCIL. He sought time to furnish details of the joint account.
UCIL has pledged an amount of Rs 19.88 crore for the road project, out of which Rs 18.37 crore has been released and spent so far. However, the road is far from completion.
In fact, KHADC is seeking an additional amount of Rs 20.31 crore for completion of the road, but, the UCIL has refused.
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has discovered about 9.22 million tonne of uranium ore deposits in Meghalaya.
The UCIL plans to produce 3,75,000 tonnes of uranium ore a year and process 1,500 tonne of the mineral a day proposing to set up a Rs1,046 crore uranium mining and processing plant in the district.
UCIL has further pledged an additional amount of Rs 209 crore for “pre-development projects” on a leased land of 422 hectares. But the UCIL has kept all the projects on hold due to opposition against Uranium mining here.