Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said his government will ensure environmental safeguards before going ahead with Centre’s plans to promote palm oil cultivation in the Northeast region.
“Whatever steps we take, we will do it only when we are convinced that the environment and interests of the local people are safeguarded,” Conrad told journalists after a meeting of the ruling coalition here.
He said, “The Government of India’s proposal is there and obviously we will see to what extent we will go but we will go once we have done our homework properly.”
The chief minister said there are many states in the North East who are interested in palm oil cultivation as it could help create livelihood.
“Obviously we are very clear as a state that we need to balance things out. So whatever decision we take will always be to ensure that the environment should not be affected in the wrong way, the forest cover should not be degraded,” he said.
Sangma also said, “if we have areas which are barren and are not forested, those kind of area can be utilized for a plantation… then it is a win-win situation.”