SHILLONG, April 16: Expressing grave concern over the amount of pollution that is being discharged into the two main rivers in and around Shillong, namely the Umkhrah and Umshyrpi rivers, the Congress MLA representing Nongthymmai, Charles Pyngrope has asked the state government to ensure that the direct discharge of waste water into these two rivers is stopped.
Pointing out that a large volume of this waste discharge emanates from households, Pyngrope called upon the state government to put an end to this practice. He also told the Assembly that this is an issue that can be dealt with effectively.
In his reply, Urban Affairs Minister Hamletson Dohling assured that the government have taken note of the concern and will examine the matter.
He however informed that a total of 35 households in different locations including Macab Road, Demsieniong, Polo Demsieniong, were issued notices for direct discharge of sewage and they have constructed sanitary toilets.
The Meghalaya Urban Development Authority had also conducted an on-spot inspection regarding the unauthorized construction all along the Umkhrah river with show cause notices to 18 persons directing them to dismantle the unauthorized construction immediately.
“The same was stayed by the Supreme Court and the matter is still pending adjudication in the apex court,” Dohling said.
He further informed that a total of 69 hotels, 19 guest houses, 37 restaurants, 14 automobile servicing centre and 11 hospitals are operating in Shillong with valid consent Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs).
Congress MLA Zenith Sangma while expressing concern that the rivers have been turned as dumping ground demanded that action is taken against the polluters.
On this, the Minister admitted that the practice of open dumping of garbage has been a challenge to the Shillong Municipal Board and said besides publishing of notices, a total of seven CCTVs have been installed to identify habitual violators.
To a query raised by the lone KHNAM MLA Adelbert Nongrum on the degree of pollution, Dohling said that the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) is monitoring the water quality of Umkhrah and Umshyrpi rivers under the National Water Monitoring Programme (NWMP) sponsored by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on monthly basis.
“Comparing the water quality of Umkhrah with designated best use notified by CPCB, the river water falls under ‘E’ category indicating that the river water is fit only for irrigation, industrial cooling and controlled waste disposal,” he said.
On the suggestion made by NCP MLA Saleng A Sangma for coming up with a programme to create awareness among the people, the Minister assured that the proposal will be examined by the department.