Shillong: The discussion on garbage disposal was once again raked up in the Meghalaya Assembly on Wednesday with Mookaiaw MLA Nujorki Sungoh asking whether the Jowai Municipal Board has started using a temporary landfill at Thadmusem under Nartiang land for dumping of garbage.

Sungoh added that till date more than 800 trucks of garbage has been dumped in the area despite protests from local villagers.

The MLA said the statement of Urban Affairs Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar contradicts the ground reality. The minister had said that the government would only go ahead with the projects after they have everyone on board. 

Dhar clarified that dumping of waste in the said area has been stopped after several protests.

The Mookaiaw MLA urged the Urban Affairs minister to identify a permanent landfill site at the earliest because people have started umping garbage along the roadside. 

Adding a supplementary question, MLA Hima Shangpliang said that on Tuesday they have had an exhaustive discussion relating to waste disposal in Jowai and they had got a categorical assurance from the minister that action will be taken today. 

But, Shangpliang said, “Till this morning, the garbage is still lying where it was yesterday. Now what action has the minister taken when he had assured in the House that the garbage will be lifted?”

The Urban Affairs minister responded that by today (Wednesday) evening the garbage will be lifted. The minister’s response elicited a round of laughter in the House as MLA Shangpliang said that he was speechless, since he had heard the same assurance yesterday, and that he will be back tomorrow with the same question.

“The minister should be prepared with the same answer tomorrow again,” Shangpliang said.

Coming in defence of the minister, MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh said it was absurd that the legislators expected the urban affairs minister alone to solve the issue wherein it requires for all of them to educate the people so that they can give their land (for a landfill).

NCP MLA Saleng Sangma questioned if there was any kind of alternative strategy taken by the government to to convert this garbage into a productive material.

Responding to the query, Dhar said that once they get a permanent landfill site, there will be a scientific waste processing plant and the garbage will be converted into useful products. He further urge all the legislators to spread awareness in the public not to be afraid of having a dumping ground in their area. 

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