Meghalaya: From rivers to drains — the fate of Umkhrah, Umshyrpi rivers of Shillong

Meghalaya: From rivers to drains — the fate of Umkhrah, Umshyrpi rivers of Shillong

By Our Reporter, TNT News | Shillong, Apr 16, 2018:

Once upon a time, their vastness and significance was a sight to admire, their pure and clear waters were used for various purposes; they served the people of Shillong well enough but unfortunately, lack of civic sense and total disregard to water bodies amongst the resident has reduced these once mighty rivers to mere drains.

The uncleanliness of the Umkhrah and Umshyrpi rivers not only reflects increase habitation along side the rivers but also speaks in volume about the mindset of the people, their attitude towards nature and their selfishness.

The conditions of these two rivers is not a new phenomenon. Their colour and quality turned from bad to worst in the recent years and as per the monitoring programme it was found that the water in these two rivers fall under ‘E’ category.

“Comparing the water quality with designated best use, notified by CPCB the rivers fall under E category indicating that the river water is fit only for irrigation, industrial cooling and controlled waste disposal,” state Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling House informed the House on Monday.

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Replying during the Question Hour, Dohling said the water quality of the two rivers running through Shillong city is being monitored by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board under the National Water Monitoring Programme, sponsored by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Along the river Umshyrpi there were three stations – Risa Colony, Near Law College-Dhanketi and Umshyrpi Bridge to check the water quality running through it. While along the Umkhrah river, there were four such stations – Demthring, Umkaliar, Mawlai and Mawpdang.

Dohling also informed the House that the Urban Affairs department is fencing the Umshyrpi and Umkhrah at strategic points to further prevent dumping of garbage. Some stretches of the rivers has been fenced with funds from the Swachh Bharat Mission and Special Urban Works Programme (SUWP).

In the Umkhrah river, fencing has been erected from Lawmali junction to Jingthangbriew with a total length of 1324 meters at a total cost of Rs 47, 94, 590.

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In the river Umshyrpi, fencing has been erected at Eldorado point till Dunhill shop – 21 meters, in Dhanketi, river bank along ICFAI University – 171 meters, Filling Point Bridge – 135 meters (Near Harrison Overbridge), Bridge and river length behind Seven Set Basic School facing Malki Playground till Lady Reid School – 54 meters at a total cost of Rs 32, 01, 837.

Dohling also told the House that garbage traps have been installed in six different outfalls of the Umshyrpi river – Bridge behind Seven Set Basic School, Malki, at Filling Point, Laban, at Dubrigat, Laban, near Urban Affairs Quarter, Dhanketi and at Rilbong at a cost of Rs 7, 39, 653.

“The problems with these garbage traps is that when there is heavy rains, they need to be cleared regularly or else the drain water spills over to the top surface. This is regularly happening in Dubrighat, Laban,” the Urban Affairs Minister informed the Meghalaya Assembly.

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 The purpose of these garbage traps is to prevent solid waste from being carried down stream.

Dohling also informed that 60 hotels, 19 guest houses and lodges, 37 restaurants, 14 automobile servicing centers and 11 hospitals have installed effluent treatment plants.

Moreover, 35 households located along the streams and tributaries in the city were issued with notices for direct discharge of sewage. These households are located at Macabe Road, Demseiniong, Polo Demseiniong, Upper Demseiniong and Jail Road.

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