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Friday, July 25th, 2014 - 4:59 AM
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Stone-crushing plant suspended for eight months

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stoneOn hold: The mini-stone crushing plant at Chakshurong

The suspension, which continues, came barely two weeks after the plant began operating 

Eight months since it was suspended, the mini-stone crushing plant in Chakshurong, Trashiyangtse remains closed still.

It had barely operated for two weeks since it started towards the end of 2012.

The owner of the plant has been unable to upgrade the plant and submit a detailed project report as the Cabinet, before it dissolved, required of the plant owner for the suspension to be lifted.

Chakchurong is around 4km from Korlung on the way to Tongzhang gewog.

Trashiyangtse dzongda Sangay Duba said the Cabinet had recommended the plant be upgraded to a small-scale industry from a cottage one.

The owner would also have to submit a project proposal reflecting details of mitigation works for environment, human lives and settlements.

“For now we’re waiting for the owner to submit the project proposal, which will be forwarded to the regional trade office,” Sangay Duba said.

The crushing plant owner, Neten Dorji said he had yet to see the letter from the Cabinet for himself.

In September 2012, villagers in the vicinity of the plant had complained to the authorities of the risk the pollution from the plant posed their health and the environment.

The matter then went up to the Cabinet, which asked for National Environment Commission, agriculture minister and eastern regional trade office to carry out a joint investigation.

The investigation uncovered some administrative lapses including the operation of a small-scale business on cottage industry trade license.

The owner had also relocated the crushing plant to a new location in Chakshurong from its previous site at Dukuling without relevant authority’s knowledge.

The investigation showed the crushing plant was built on a wetland for which the owner of the crushing plant was fined Nu 14,900.

But, Sangay Duba said claims the crushing plant posed serious environmental and human hazards was unfounded.

“The investigation reflected that with mitigation works, the crushing plant should pose no serious threats,” he said.

Tempa Wangdi

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