Shillong: Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun (SSMP) on Wednesday decided to lock the gates and stop garbage trucks from entering the Marten landfill site in Mawlai after Meghalaya urban affairs minister Sniawbhalang Dhar failed to inspect the area, as was promised by him in his last meeting with the students’ body earlier this month.
The dumping ground at Marten in East Khasi Hills district is the biggest such facility in state capital Shillong.
SSMP started locking the gates at 8 am on Wednesday, following which garbage trucks starting queuing up in front of the landfill site. In a matter of few hours, there was a pile-up of garbage trucks, which eventually slowed the movement of other vehicles passing by the area.
SSMP president Samuel Biam, general secretary Samran Syiem and other members of the organisation ensured that no vehicles could enter the dumping site.
Speaking with media persons, SSMP general secretary Samran Syiem said that they were “compelled” to lock the gates due to the apathy of the government.
“Earlier this month, we met urban affairs minister Sniawbhalang Dhar to apprise him about the matter. He had promised to inspect the site in a week’s time. In our letter to him, we had given him a deadline of 14 days, but he failed to inspect the site,” said Syiem.
Upset with the government’s lack of responsibility, the SSMP leaders raised their concern about the dumping ground and lamented how the state was yet to identify an alternative landfill site.
The youth body has demanded a long-term solution to the issue. It has prepared a presentation for the government but it said it will hand it over only if the minister inspected the site.
“Since the solid waste management treatment plant at Marten is overflowing, we want the government to start reducing the load from Marten and find a new site. There are several rat-hole mines in East Jaintia Hills. Why can’t the government take the waste from here and make a landfill in those mines. It will save the people of those areas from natural calamities,” said Syiem.
SSMP has also demanded the government to set up a proper technology to treat the bio-medical waste at the treatment plant in Marten. Syiem cited how NEIGRIHMS could install a device to treat the bio-medical waste coming out of the hospital. “Then, why can’t the Meghalaya government do it?” it questioned.
Syiem also said that the youth body’s decision to lock the gates and sto 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 action and also to show them that it has failed its people,” Said Syiem.
Earlier, SSMP had met minister Dhar on July 6 after which he had also informed the media that he would be inspecting the site.
“I have promised that I will make an inspection of the plant as requested by the Seng Samla sometime next week,” Dhar had informed the media then.