Shillong, July 22:
– Urban Affairs Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar inspects Marten landfill site
– Meeting with all stakeholders on August 3
– 4-5 sites identified, 2-3 have been inspected
– Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun had locked gates of Marten on July 21, 2021
Meghalaya Urban Affairs Minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar has assured to identify a new landfill site at the earliest as the landfill site at Marten has almost reached its capacity. “I promise we’ll try to get a new landfill site as soon as possible,” he told reporters on Thursday.
He said this after inspecting the landfill site at Marten on Thursday, the gates of which were locked by Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun (SSMP) on Wednesday after the Minister failed to pay a visit to the site. The Minister had assured a delegation of SSMP on July 6 that he would visit Marten within 14 days, which expired on July 20.
Talking to reporters, he said a meeting has been fixed on August 3 wherein all stakeholders on waste management will meet to decide on the next steps to be undertaken. “We will sit and have a proper discussion with SSMP and also with the department concerned and on that day itself we will decide what steps to be taken,” he said.
The minister was accompanied by SSMP members, Mawlai MLA PT Sawkmie among others.
Stating that identification process for a new landfill site is already taking place, Dhar said 4 -5 places have been identified for the new landfill site, of which 2-3 have been inspected but some are found to be feasible and others are not. He said visits are planned for more sites.
He said he would be in a better position to share more about the probable new site after the meeting on August 3.
He also clarified that the job of dumping waste in Marten is of Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) and not his department. He, however, said he is ready to discuss the matter if SMB needs his help.
About the step taken by SSMP of locking the gates, Dhar lauded the youth organisation and said that they were responsible youths and that he appreciated them.
Meanwhile, SSMP president, Samuel Biam informed that they have decided to reopen the gates and also allow the garbage trucks to enter Marten following the Minister’s visit. He said they look forward to the meeting on August 3 with all the concerned stakeholders.
It may be mentioned that the youth organisation has been demanding the government to identify an alternative landfill site. The youth body has demanded a long-term solution to the issue.
SSMP has also demanded the government to set up a proper facility with new technology to treat the bio-medical waste at Marten.