SHILLONG, April 16: Rampant pollution of the Myntdu River in Jaintia Hills has severely affected the water cycle of the entire area and this has been brought to the notice of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by one Sanjay Laloo.
In an application for interim relief filed before the NGT, Laloo said that recent survey shows that rampant washing of vehicles and construction of new buildings along the river banks right from Myntdu bridge in Pynthornein area to Khimusniang, Chilliangraj onwards is rampantly going on and unchecked by any authorities.
He also pointed out that notice has been served to seven government officials for their failure to act on the instruction issued previously by the NGT on February 27, 2017 while adding that the fate of all the new building constructions, car washing centres and such which are located in the vicinity of the river will be decided on the next date of hearing.
An additional miscellenous application has been filed praying for summon of all the concerned officers to appear in person before the NGT on the next date of hearing, to explain as to why action should not be taken against them for not implementing the order passed by the it. On this matter, the NGT has issued direction to all the concerned officials to file appropriate reply and to submit the same before the next date of hearing on May 18 next.
Apart from the ‘massive shortage’ of clean drinking water in the whole of Jaintia Hills in spite of the fact that there are maximum numbers of rivers and streams in both the districts, Laloo has also informed the NGT that there is absolutely no proper healthcare system in the rural areas especially in the rich limestone and coal belt areas of the district. “The natural wealth which we are blessed with by mother earth is simply evaporating into the sky. The villagers are dying for want of good health and good living too,” he said in his application.
Laloo is also batting for the creation of what, in his opinion, can be called the “tourists and environment police” which will be exclusively responsible for protecting the forests, rivers and other water bodies which are the greatest ecological wealth of Meghalaya.