JOWAI: The Jaintia Students Movement (JSM) Central Body today urged the State Forest Department to come to the rescue of the anaimals, birds and butterflies of Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary by stopping the proposed expansion project of Star Cement in Brishyrnot area located near the Sanctuary.
In a representation to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest through the Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), West Jaintia Hills District Meghalaya, Jowai, the organization said it has to come to our knowledge that M/s Star Cement Meghalaya Limited proposed to carry out mining of limestone located in Brishyrnot, East Jaintia Hills District and the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) will conduct a public hearing on 19th October, 2019.
They also stated that from the proposed mining area that the proposed maximum annual production of limestone is 2.507 metric tons per annum and the proposed maximum annual production of shale is 0.217 million tons per annum from the mining lease area of 42.051 hectares.
“M/s Star Cement targets to make the Brishyrnot mine as its source of limestone for manufacturing of clinker,” it added.
According to the JSM, the proposed project site is located at a distance of 1.46 kilometers from the Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary and the mine lease boundary is located at a distance of 0.25 km from the Eco Sensitive Zone of the said Sanctuary.
“We have to come learnt that there are 50 species of mammal, 400 types of butterflies and 300 types of birds in the said sanctuary,” Leningstar Rymbai who is the president of the organization said while adding that the proximity of the proposed mining site to the Sanctuary is highly unwelcomed as there is every possibility of adverse affect to the flora and fauna of the Sanctuary.
He also stated that, the distance of River Lukha is only 1.38 kilometer from the proposed mining site while River Um Lunar is bordering the eastern boundary of the proposed site and River Umso Nallah is adjacent to Northern Boundary. These rivers passed through the Narpuh Sanctuary and the animals and birds living there would be adversely affected if they consume the waters which would be contaminated if the proposed mining of limestone takes place, he added.
Rymbai informed that due to the use of mine machinery, drilling & blasting, loading & unloading and vehicular movement will result in noise pollution to the seventeen villages, which will have an adverse impact on the health of the local residents.
He further said that it is imminent that due to the proposed mining there will be rise of air pollution in the area affecting the health of the seventeen villages and also of the flora and fauna in Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary in the buffer zone of the project as there will be drilling, blasting and others for excavation of limestone which will produce dust particles and also contamination of the air due to gaseous emissions from the heavy use of excavators, dumpers and transport vehicles.
The representation asserted that the proposed mining project will pose immense threat to the life and safety of the animals, birds and butterflies and fauna of Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary and contamination of the three Rivers due to its extreme proximity of the project site with them and the rise of air pollution and noise pollution and damage to property due to vibration as a result of blasting.
“The Jaintia Students Movement do hereby expressed its stern opposition to the proposed mining project of M/s Star Cement Meghalaya Limited and we urged you to utilize your good office to intervene to ensure that the mining of limestone do not take place at all cost,” the upcoming youth leader urged the Forest Department.