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Garbage disposal crisis in Shillong as Marten is put under locks

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Shillong, July 21:

Brief

– Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun locks gates of Marten landfill site

– Gates locked over failure of Urban Affairs Minister to conduct inspection

– Minister had assured of inspecting the site within 14 days on July 6

– Demand for proper technology to dispose bio-medical waste

– Proposal for using abandoned coal mines (rat hole mines) in Jaintia Hills to dispose garbage

– Marten at Mawlai is the biggest dumping ground in Shillong

Full Report

Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun (SSMP) on Wednesday locked the gates and stopped all the garbage trucks from entering the landfill site at Marten in Shillong.

Their action was in response to failure of Meghalaya Urban Affairs Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar to make an inspection of Marten.

The SSMP closed the gates of Marten at 8 am on Wednesday, following which garbage trucks queued up infront of the site. In a matter of few hours, there was a long line of garbage trucks which eventually slowed the movement of other vehicles passing by, as the gate of Marten landfill ground is adjacent to Shillong – Guwahati National Highway.
The President of SSMP Samuel Biam, general secretary Samran Syiem and members of the organisation were seen co-ordinating to ensure that no vehicles enter the dumping site.

Speaking with media persons, General Secretary Samran Syiem said that the government has compelled them to do so. “We met the Minister incharge Sniawbhalang Dhar about this matter. He had promised to inspect the site in a week’s time. In our letter to him we had given a deadline of 14 days, but he failed to even inspect it in 14 days time,” stated Syiem.

Upset with the government’s lack of responsibility, SSMP has expressed their concern about the landfill being a long pending issue and how the state is yet to identify a new landfill site.

They have now demanded for a long term solution and has also prepared a presentation for the government provided that the minister in-charge inspects the site.

“Since the solid waste management treatment plant at Marten is overloaded, we want the government to start reducing from Marten and find a new landfill. There are several rat-hole mines in East Jaintia Hills, so why can’t the government take these waste from here and make a landfill in those mines. It will save the people of those areas from natural calamities,” stated Syiem.

SSMP has also demanded the government to setup a proper technology to treat the bio-medical waste treatment plant at Marten. Syiem cited how NEIGRIHMS could install a devise to treat the bio-medical waste coming out of the Hospital, then why not the Meghalaya government.

Syiem also said that their decision to close down the gates and also stopping the garbage trucks was not to cause any trouble to commuters. “The decision that we have taken today is to show and tell the government that we are capable of taking actions and also to show them that they have failed its people,” Said Syiem.

The dumping ground at Marten in Mawlai is the biggest such facility in state capital Shillong.

SSMP had met Dhar on July 6 after which he had also informed the media that he would be inspecting the site.

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