Mizoram Greens slam NHIDCL for breaking environmental laws

The company claimed that it complied with all rules and regulations while carrying out the projects

The company claimed that it complied with all rules and regulations while carrying out the projects

Environmental activists in Mizoram have criticized the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) for failing to follow environmental laws when carrying out road projects in the state.

A pro-conservation organization by the name of Save Mizoram Rivers said the NHIDCL had extended existing single-lane roads in the state to dual-lane roads. But unlike other states, the company has turned a blind eye to environmental laws and pushed excavated soil down to where hired workers find it convenient, he said.

“Such activities destroy trees and bamboo groves, affect biodiversity and dry up perennial rivers. The impact of road construction under NHIDCL and improper disposal of excavated soil on the environment of Mizoram is difficult to understand at this stage,” Vanneihthanga Vanchhawng, a founding member of the organization, said in a statement.

“Good roads are a necessity for Mizoram, a heavily forested and hilly state. The initiative of the Center to improve connectivity through expensive projects is appreciated. But there is no noticeable progress in NHIDCL projects, and contractor indifference to environmental standards is hard to ignore,” he said.

The organization also criticized the Mizoram State Biodiversity Board for its lack of functionality, as a result of which 893 biodiversity management boards across the state all but disappeared. These committees are empowered to issue fines to violators of environmental laws up to ₹10 lakh.

“It is also depressing that the Mizoram government remains ignorant of the need to compel the NHIDCL, or contractors hired by it, to create cut banks to deposit the excavated earth, and not to push it down to kill rivers and trees,” Mr Vanchhawng said. said.

The NHIDCL, which falls under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, claims to have complied with all central and national rules and regulations while carrying out projects in Mizoram and elsewhere in the country.

“Work is progressing according to plans and contractors have been instructed to complete the protective measures along the spoil bank (discharge lane) – a concern of the general public – on a war footing,” a doorman said. -word of the NHIDCL.

“We are also in the process of making people understand the complexities and requirements of the project and assuring them that the flora, fauna and biodiversity of Mizoram would be maintained as we are ethically and morally responsible,” he said. .