Excessive export of boulders to Bangladesh amidst COVID-19 causes concern

Ampati, Jul 11: Residents of South West Garo Hills (SWGH) expressed their annoyance at excessive export of boulders to Bangladesh through Mahendraganj port, especially at a time when COVID-19 cases in the state are on the rise.

The residents expressed their disappointment at the decision of the state government to allow export of boulders, even as the the condition of the road has deteriorated due to the heavily loaded trucks.

Boldamgre MDC, Stevie Marak informed that they had taken the matter forward to the Lokayukta who had sought an inquiry from the DGP of Meghalaya over the question of overloaded trucks.

“We provided them with all proof but no action has been taken on this front. Further it’s not like the stones are being exported by residents of Meghalaya. It is only people from Assam, who illegally mine boulders in our state that are exporting these boulders. This is absolutely frustrating,” added Marak.

He further added, “It seems the government only needs money and has no care for the people of the state. There can be no other explanation for them allowing the movement of overloaded trucks through the ports at this time. Look at the state of the road, people can hardly walk on these roads as they remain blocked by these trucks.”

Earlier rallies of protest had been taken out by locals, NGOs and local leaders seeking a stop to the export. They had even approached the DC of SWGH then after later reached the doors of the Lokayukta. However despite the approaches, nothing seems to have been done as export continues with impunity.

“There are no weigh bridges along the route so how does one know the weight they are carrying. The heavy vehicles plying through have caused havoc to our roads with school children being the worst affected. Why is the state and the administration not looking at this,” asked a resident of Mahendraganj on the condition of anonymity.

The locals also questioned why the state government is adamant in allowing people from outside to enter the state during the pandemic.