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Villages in WKH protest against iron ore mining

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Villages in WKH protest against iron ore mining
The West Khasi Hills community of Mallangkona’s residents are against a company’s drilling operations to collect iron ore near Chual Napram hamlet (Werang Abri), which is under the Nonglang Sordarship.

MALLANGKONA, May 27: The people who live in Mallangkona, West Khasi Hills, are against a corporation drilling near Chual Napram hamlet (Werang Abri), under Nonglang Sordarship, to harvest iron ore.
They had earlier expressed amazement that the operators had come to the town and claimed to have authorization to mine iron ore.

On May 23, residents from at least 25 villages came to the site under the direction of youth organisations and senior citizens to witness the drilling equipment at work.

The villagers requested that the company cease drilling since they had not given their consent. The possibility of environmental and water table effects from iron ore mining was another factor contributing to the opposition. Drilling is taking place in the catchment region that provides the settlements with water.

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“The prospectors told us they had state and mining department clearance to prospect when we got in touch with them. But nobody ever contacted the others—not even Madan Jira, the local headman who granted permission. The entire community in this area is affected by this really significant issue. A resident named Enos G. Momin stated, “We told them that we would not allow such a transgression in our area.”
The people discovered that about 57 metres had been drilled. Different depths revealed different colours in the mud and stones.

When the villagers requested the permit documents, the prospectors did not present them. They said they will return the next day with all the paperwork.

Many people met at the Mallangkona outpost on Monday to talk with the prospectors about the situation. They voiced their opposition at a meeting, claiming that if mining took place in the area, the ecosystem would suffer irreversible harm.

A prospecting licence that the prospectors later supplied revealed that a composite mining licence covering 496 hectares of mining area had been granted for a 50-year period.

We won’t have anything to eat if mining continues for 50 years in our region. Nothing will remain for our children to live on. We won’t gain back what we will lose because the catchment we have will go, according to a member of the Aradonga unit of the Garo Students’ Union.
He participated in the discussions with a few other union members.

In the future, the prospectors promised to confer with the people before making any decisions. The villagers, however, were not amused. The prospectors stated that as this is only the beginning of the activity, they do not yet have any additional documentation.

“We’ll gather all necessary NOCs and have open forums. We won’t move further if there are any objections, a prospector declared.

The Mallangkona Area Development Organisation (MADO) members, however, said that they would not permit iron ore mining in the region.

Even if they have the necessary permits, we won’t permit the extraction of iron ore in our region. We are concerned about our lives, our children’s futures, and the health of our flora and wildlife. A MADO member stated, “We implore the state administration to investigate the situation and make sure that our lives are not in danger.

The Youth Multipurpose Society of Mallangkona also voiced disapproval.The society’s members declared that they will not back down from their opposition to the exploitation of their lands for private gain.
The locals made the decision to file complaints with the Chief Minister’s office as well as other departments. In the event that their issues are not addressed, they threatened to start an agitation.

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