SHILLONG, April 16: The Greater Laban Community Development Society (GLCDS) led by its president Sanbor Shullai has taken up the issue of encroachment by defense authorities at Lawsohtun here with the National Green Tribunal as the matter pertains to the survival of a critical catchment area.
In an application filed with the NGT Eastern Zone (Bench), at New Town Rajarhat Kolkata, pointed out that the alleged encroachment by defense authorities is a matter of grave concern, as there has been rampant felling of trees and illegal construction of Boundary wall for the purpose of encroachment of the Critical Catchment Area in the Lawsohtun Forest.
Shullai who is also the MLA representing South Shillong constituency also informed that this encroachment has taken place in spite of prohibitory direction in this regard by the Gauhati High Court, Shillong Bench.
“It is also to be mentioned that the activity of construction and felling of trees is adversely affecting the ecosystem and the overall ecology of the area and thus substantial question relating to protection of environment / critical catchment is involved, wherein the community at large is affected by the environmental consequence. May it further be mentioned that there exists several water sources originating from Shillong Peak which is one of the source of drinking water for the inhabitants of Shillong City and its adjoining areas,” the GLCDS informed the NGT.
“The said Judgment of the Gauhati High Court in PIL No: 06 (SH) of 2005 had directed the Advisory Body constituted under the ‘Meghalaya Protection of Catchment Area Act, 1990’ to notify and declare the Lawsohtun Forest and adjoining Areas as Catchment Areas within a period of 60 days but the Advisory Body of the Government in spite of so many years are yet to act upon the direction of the Hon’ble High court order,” it added.