Shillong, March 21: The Meghalaya government is planning to open industrial estates for sawmills in various in various sub-divisions and towns of the state.
According to a reply given by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to a question posed by HSPDP MLA, K.P Pangniang in Assembly, guidelines issued by the Union government pertaining to opening of sawmills or wood-based industries is as per published in the gazette of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change dated November 11, 2016.
When Pangniang wanted to know the steps taken by the government to ease problems faced by the people in different villages regarding the availability of sawn timber, Mukul said that steps have been taken by setting up seven industrial estates at Khlieh Tyrshi in West Jaintia Hills, Umiam, Byrnihat and Nongpoh in Ri-Bhoi district, Mawiaban Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills, Tura in West Garo Hills and Darugre in East Garo Hills district.
The Chief Minister informed the State Level Expert Committee has been constituted by the State government for Wood-based Industries in February this year as per the requirement of the guidelines issued by the Central government, besides identification of the minor industrial estates in different districts for establishing sawmills.
On the number of licenses have been issued till date as inquired by Nongstoin MLA, Diosstarness Jyndiang, the Chief Minister said that altogether 45 licenses have been issued across the state.
Government directives have been issued to all licensed sawmills in different industrial estates to open timber depots in state capital, district/sub-divsional headquarters and other important localities in order to meet the domestic needs for legally available sawn timber, he said.
To a query of NPP MLA, James K. Sangma regarding steps taken to safeguard the environment while opening of sawmills, Mukul said that the concerns raised would be taken care as per the guidelines issued by the Centre.