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Meghalaya govt wakes upto need to prevent pollution of Wahumkhrah, Umshyrpi streams


SHILLONG: Urban Affairs Minister Hamletson Dohling highlighted various steps taken by the government for prevention of pollution of streams of Wahumkhrah and Umshyrpi.


Replying to a query raised by Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM), Adelbert Nongrum on the pollution of the two rivers during the question hour in the Assembly on Monday,  

Dohling said fencing of streams at strategic stretches had been started to prevent disposal of garbage into the rivers.


The funds for the fencing were provided from Swachh Bharat Mission and Special Urban Works Programme (SUWP) and the areas fenced are from Lawmali junction to Jingthang Briew with a total length of 1324 meters at a total cost of Rs 47,94, 590.


As for the Umshyrpi river, the fencing is from Eldorado point till Dunn Hill shop along NH road-21 metres, river bank along ICFAI University-171 meters, filling point bridge-135 m (near Harrison overbridge, bridge and river length behind seven set basic school facing Malki playground till Lady Reid School-54m.The total cost of fencing is Rs 32, 01, 837.


He added households located along the streams or tributaries were issued with notices against direct discharge or sewage whenever detected in which 35 households were issued notices.


Turning to garbage traps which seeks to prevent solid waste from being carried downstream, Dohling said they were installed at six outfalls of the Umshyrpi stream and the same shall also be taken up for the Wahumkhrah.


The six garbage traps installed are at the bridge behind Seven Set Basic School, Malki, filling point, Laban, Dubrighat, Laban, near Urban Affairs Quarter, Dhankheti, near NABARD office, Dhanketi Rilbong. The total cost for installing the garbage traps is Rs 739, 653.


Asked by Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh on the garbage traps, Dohling said, “The problem with these garbage traps is that when there is heavy rain they need to be cleared regularly or else the drain water spill over to the top surface This is regularly happening in Dubrighat, Laban.”


To reduce the disposal of garbage in drains, streams and other water bodies, he said the garbage collection infrastructure was also augmented for Shillong Municipal Board as well as for areas outside Shillong municipality to enhance the collection efficiency of garbage from the source.


Hotels, guest houses have installed Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) as directed by Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board and Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA).


Congress MLA Charles Pyngrope pointed out a long stretch of stream passes through Nongthymmai and asked about the steps taken by the government to curtail and stop the discharge of sewage as there is a way of doing it.


 To this, Dohling said, “Government will take note and examine it.”


Another Congress MLA, Zenith Sangma spoke on government intervention to deter those from dumping wastes, Dohling said CCTVs were installed to identify habitual violators.


Stating there was lack of civic sense amongst the people, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA, Saleng Sangma asked whether the state government organised a workshop to sensitise the households to create civic awareness.


To this, the Urban Affairs Minister said awareness was done in collaboration with the Dorbar shnong (urban/village council).


Replying to supplementary query on the numbers of hotels, guests etc., that have installed Effluent Treatment Plant (ETPs), Dohling said there were 69 hotels with ETPs, 19 guest houses, 37 restaurants, 14 automobile servicing centre and 11 hospitals.


Status of water quality of Umshyrpi river and Umkhrah river from January to April 2018


In reply to query raised by Nongrum, Dohling said the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) was monitoring the water quality of Umshyrpi and Umkhrah rivers under the National Water Monitoring Programme (NWMP), sponsored by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on monthly basis.


In its analysis of both the rivers, the pH was found to be within the reference range stipulated by CPCB (pH 6.5-8.5), the dissolved oxygen content was below 4mg/l and was not meeting the water quality criteria stipulated by the CPCB.


Dohling also stated the concentration of bio-chemical oxygen demand in the two rivers was more than 3.0 mg/l and was not meeting the criteria stipulated by CPCB, the total coliform is above 5000 mpn (most probable number)/100 ml and as such not meeting the criteria stipulated by CPCB.


He added the faecal coliform of Umshyrpi river and Umkharh river is above 2500mpn/100ml and as such was not in conformity with the criteria stipulated by CPCB.


As for the “designated best use”, notified by CPCB, the Umshyrpi and Umkhrah river falls under the “E” category indicating that the water was fit only for irrigation, industrial cooling and controlled waste disposal.


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