Shillong – A toxic city in a few years
To anyone who was brought up in Shillong or has any association with it, they will know that it is a beautiful place to grow up in. It is a city filled with pristine scenery, natural greenery on the outskirts, what more could we possibly ask for? As a kid, surely you might have gone for a family picnic, even now, college students once or twice a year plan out picnics to places such as Sohra (Cherrapunjee), Mawphlang, Laitlum, etc, since these are picnic spots outside the main city. One of the main reasons why Shillong has the tag 'Scotland of the East 'is because of its pristine scenery but all of that will soon be a sarcastic joke for generations to come because filth and garbage has become a routine part of our lives.
We know that Police Bazaar is one major hotspot for all people from all walks of life. People in and around the North-east and even people from every corner of the country talk about how beautiful Shillong is but isn't it embarrassing to realise that people mostly talk about how dirty Shillong is? Hidden behind Police Bazaar's beauty is filthy junk that reeks embarassingly.
A month ago, according to a survey conducted by the Swachh Bharat, Shillong is ranked 53rd among the least clean cities in the country. Perhaps this city needs a better solid waste management system because as far as the State is concern, the government really needs to develop a better system especially in areas like Polo and Riatsamthiah. But by the look of it, the probability of achieving that is next to impossible, isn't it a little too late? Surely if the government pays heed to it, they can do something about it, Stop filling pockets! The people too need to be cooperative and have some civic sense; we're living in the 21st century, stop using rivers as your own bathroom!
It is really embittered to know and see that most houses stream their waste sewage line directly into the Wahumkhrah river, no wonder when it rains, a smell so pungent reeks through the whole city and people look at one another as if either one of them had led out a dying fart.
The improper running of the authorities who manage drainage maintenance is the reason why when one looks around, all they see are deplorable conditions. Especially during the monsoon, improper management is revealed in areas like Polo, Dhankheti whenever there's heavy rainfall, these areas are flooded and then every pile of garbage comes out to see the light of day.
But the government isn't the only one to blame, even we the people are responsible too, as enumerated in the earlier section of the article, we lack civic sense and responsibility. A whole lot of people are not managing solid waste coming out from their households, shops and industries.
Apart from all that, there is also the rising health conditions such as sinusitis, hypertrophy (cold allergy), and respiratory tract infection. It would just be a lot worse if living conditions continue to deteriorate.
Besides that, the lack of trees is also another aspect as to why this city will be toxic in a few years to come. Where's the green? We need air to live, air which is toxic-free, we need more trees not more cars. A walk around town is as if one is suffocating in a window-less room.
This town with its development in all categories, in terms of infrastructure and lifestyle lack the utmost important aspect of healthy living; that is tree plantation.
Remember, life goes by in a flash; before you know it, even drinking water will also be contaminated and it already has in some parts of State.
If you ever read or watch the news, 'Scotland of the East,' is it relevant now? Seeing how it is, with the abundance of waste products lying in bits and pieces on the street leave a big question mark on the name tag Shillong has received.
To reach the cleanest village in Asia (Mawlynnong) one has to travel through one of the dirtiest cities in the country (Shillong). The increasing number of cars in the city does not only create a problem of heavy traffic but also increases the levels of toxicity which could hamper the natural beauty and living conditions as a whole.
(By Mebanaibor Nengnong)