SHILLONG, Oct 27 - The Hynñiewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has reiterated its opposition to construction of two-lane roads in areas having uranium deposits in West Khasi Hills (WKH) district of Meghalaya.
It may be noted that the HYC has received flak from several quarters on this issue and was accused of hindering developmental projects in the district.
Countering the allegations, HYC WKH secretary Wanteibok Lyngdoh said, “A lot of thought and care has to be given before granting permission for development of these roads which lead to the uranium deposits.”
To justify his point, Lyngdoh said that the Section 10 of the Atomic Energy Act states that any area that has atomic mineral reserves can be taken over by the Government of India without seeking the consent of the original land owners and compensate them for the land.
“The Section 19 of the Act says that after acquiring the land, the government can prohibit people from entering it,” Lyngdoh said.
“We have to understand that once the roads are developed, it will enable the government to transport machinery to the areas with uranium reserves and it will help the employees of UCIL to reach these sites,” Lyngdoh said, adding that once this is done, the Government of India will begin land acquisition.
“This means that the Mariem, Umdohlun, Wahkaji, Phlangdiloiñ, Warsanlyngdoh area will ultimately become the property of the Government of India which will be made a prohibited area from where people will be forced to move out and security forces will be deployed to protect the UCIL employees,” Lyngdoh warned.
He said that the two-lane roads will be the property of the UCIL and would be used exclusively by its employees. “Can this be termed as development?” Lyngdoh asked.