SHILLONG: The government will soon notify rules for incorporation in the existing Meghalaya Forest Regulation Act 1973 to ban felling of trees for charcoal manufacturing, especially in West Khasi Hills, which is one of the major causes of depletion of the State forest cover.

SHILLONG: Despite the government taking help of experts from Delhi to fight meningococcal meningitis, the virus has remained a headache to the Health Department, claiming the life of one more person on Sunday, taking the toll from the disease to nine in the State.

SHILLONG: With a hope to break the ice over uranium mining issue in Meghalaya, the Centre is sending its emissaries one after another to the State.

The latest one, after the recent visit of Union Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekar and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar, is Principal Advisor to Department of Atomic Energy VP Raja.

Mr Raja will arrive in Shillong on September 22 to discuss with the State government, political parties and prominent NGOs the proposed Kylleng-Pyndeng-Sohiong uranium mining project in West Khasi Hills.

By Ace Puri

The debate has been raging back and forth about the economic benefits and the health hazards associated with uranium mining in the state. What compounds the complexity and confusion of the debate is a lack of clear understanding of the uranium mining process and its attendant implications on health. This article is an attempt to demystify the various aspects of the uranium mining lifecycle and therefore help the members of the public make an informed opinion about this issue.

Shillong: The ambitious housing project of the State Government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for urban poor people of the city will be completed within 18 months.

The two-phase housing project estimated at Rs 30.44 crore has been handed over to Hindustan Prefab Limited (HPL) for execution and the housing units will be constructed in a nine-acre area at Lumphira in Nongmynsong on the city outskirts to accommodate 600 families.

SHILLONG: In an effort to woo the anti-uranium mining groups in Meghalaya, especially after the Central delegation's recent failure to convince the NGOs and political parties for the UCIL project, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 800 crore for development of infrastructure around the mining sites in West Khasi Hills.

According to official sources on Tuesday, the decision to sanction the funds was taken in a meeting between Union Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar, State Government officials and representatives from UCIL and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in New Delhi on Monday.

SHILLONG: Ahead of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Anil Kakodkar's visit to the State, the anti-nuclear groups have asserted that they will not bow down to the government pressure on the contentious issue of Uranium mining in the state.

Dr Kakodkar, who is leading a high-level delegation to Meghalaya on August 22, will hold discussions with Chief Minister Donkupar Roy, also the Chairman of the All-Party Committee on Uranium Mining, and other senior government officials.

SHILLONG: As part of the Centre's push for early start of the uranium mining project in Meghalaya, Union Cabinet Secretary KM Chandra-shekhar will arrive here on Friday to discuss the vexed issue with the State Government and local NGOs.

Mr Chandrashekhar will be the second Cabinet Secretary after BK Chaturvedi to visit the State with the issue of uranium mining high on his agenda. He is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy and Governor RS Mooshahary. He will also deliver the keynote address at the State Civil Service Day function in the city on August 22.

Shillong: The Centre has approved the Rs 193.49-crore project under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to complete the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme, bringing a hope for the city to ease the present water crisis.

Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee under JNNURM on Tuesday gave its approval to the detailed project report (DPR) on the Scheme. Principal Secretary of Urban Affairs Anoop Thakur and Commissioner Secretary PHE AK Bhalla represented the State in the meeting in New Delhi.

SHILLONG: Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Anil Kakodkar is likely to arrive in the State on August 21 to discuss the proposed uranium mining project at Mawthabah in West Khasi Hills with the State Government.

According to sources, Dr Kakodkar is expected to hold discussion with Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy and other top officials on the proposed project. He will be accompanied by senior officials of the Union Atomic Energy Department including its Joint Secretary S Mendiratta.