River Umngot: Meghalaya
3rd September, 2021 Geography
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- The Meghalaya government has “scrapped” an agreement with private power developers to execute the proposed 210 MW Umngot hydroelectric project following protests.
What is the issue?
- People of at least a dozen villages fear the death of Umngot River and their tourism-based livelihood if the 210 MW hydroelectric project comes up.
- The villages are near the border with Bangladesh in East Khasi Hills district but the dam is proposed upstream in the adjoining West Jaintia Hills district.
- The project documents say people of 13 villages along the Umngot are likely to lose 296 hectares of land due to submergence if the dam comes up.
- The Umngot River attracts many tourists to Dawki bordering Bangladesh.
- The water of the river is so clear that boats seem to rest on a crystal glass surface besides casting their shadows on the river bed.
- It is one of the cleanest rivers in India.
- Located in Meghalayathis river is the natural boundary between Ri Pnar (of Jaintia Hills) with Hima Khyrim (of Khasi Hills) over which hangs a single span suspension bridge.
- It is the gateway to Bangladesh.