Umngot power project: JAC demands clarity over Power Minister’s "MoU scrapped" statement
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) against the Umngot Hydro-electric project has demanded clarity over the “MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) scrapped” statement made by Power Minister James Sangma on Monday, terming it as “ambiguous”.
“His statement lacks clarity. Which MoU is he (James Sangma) referring to? The old MoU signed with the JP Group was done by the previous government in 2007, and it was terminated in the year 2020,” asked Treibor Suchen, JAC member and general secretary of the Jaintia Students’ Union.
Suchen further questioned that if the said MoU was terminated in 2020, “then what was the reason for the government to call a public hearing on it on 2021?”
“If the government wanted to scrap this project, they should come up with a clear message to the people and the stakeholders who are opposing the project,” he added.
He informed that the JAC will be holding a meeting again with associations from the tourism sector to discuss their future course of action, before scheduling a meeting with the Power Minister.
Meanwhile, representatives from the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF), Meghalaya Rural Tourism Forum (MRTF), Federation of Shillong Hotels (FOSH), Tour Operators Association of Meghalaya (TOAM), Tour Guides Association of Meghalaya (TGAM), and Tourism Societies from Shongpdeng, Darrang, Dawki along with members of the Transport Association of Meghalaya have extended their support to the JAC.
They, however, appreciated the government’s recent decision to scrap the proposed hydel project and maintained that they shall not entertain any discussions on the views of stakeholders on any future hydel projects on the Umngot River.
“The members also thank the government on the decision to restart tourism again in the state as it is vital to maintain a balance between health, safety and economy, especially, given the long closure that has resulted in extreme financial difficulties,” read a statement issued by the stakeholders in the tourism sector.
(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)
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