Shillong: With mounting pressure from Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun (SSMP), Meghalaya urban affairs minister Sniawbhalang Dhar was compelled to visit Marten landfill site in Shillong on Thursday.

On Wednesday, SSMP decided to lock the gates and stop garbage trucks from entering the Marten landfill site in Mawlai after Dhar failed to inspect the area, as was promised by him in his last meeting with the students’ body earlier this month.

Leaders of Seng Samla Mawlai Pyllun (SSMP) locking the gates of Marten landfill site in Mawlai, Meghalaya on Wednesday

The dumping ground at Marten in East Khasi Hills district is the biggest such facility in state capital Shillong.

Dhar had no other option but to visit Marten. He was accompanied by leaders of the youth organisation and Mawlai MLA PT Sawkmie.

Speaking to media persons, Dhar said that the government has decided to hold a meeting with all the stakeholders concerned on August 3. “We will sit and have a proper discussion with SSMP and the department concerned. We will decide on the steps that are to be taken on that day itself,” added Dhar.

The minister also assured to identify a new landfill site at the earliest and claimed that identification process is already taking place.

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When asked on the steps that are needed to be taken to reduce the dumping of waste at Marten, Dhar said that it was the duty of the Shillong Municipal Board and not his. He, however, added that if the board needs his help, he is always ready to discuss with it.

Meanwhile, Dhar lauded the youth organisation for taking the extreme step of locking the gates of Marten. He said that they were responsible youths and their actions are appreciable.

SSMP president Samuel Biam said that the youths have now decided to open the gates of Marten and allow garbage trucks to enter as the minister has finally come to inspect the dumping ground. He added that he is looking forward to the meeting on August 3.

The youth body has been demanding a long-term solution to the problems at Marten landfill site in Mawlai

The youth organisation has been demanding the government to identify an alternative landfill site and find a long-term solution to the issues pertaining to the area.

SSMP has also demanded the government to set up a proper technology to treat the bio-medical waste at the treatment plant in Marten.

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