Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Environment assesses environmental problems in Tura


TURA | SEPT 10, 2020:

The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment led by MLA and Chairman S K Sunn and other members of the Committee assessed various environmental problems in Tura during a three-day visit to West Garo Hills from September 7.

On the first day, the committee reviewed various departments of the district concerning the environmental concerns of the district and had also visited various areas of Tura town on the second day and visited the brick kiln and stone quarry on the third day.

"The committee had visited the district to oversee the extent of pollution of the streams and rivers in this part of the region. Rongkhon stream which is the main source of drinking water supply to the Tura town area including the water catchment areas has been greatly affected by deforestation and the quality of the water has been reduced drastically," Chairman of the Committee, S K Sunn said.

He also mentioned about the protection and preservation of water catchment areas in Nokrek Biosphere Reserve by providing alternate livelihood options to the people so they can deviate from jhum cultivation which causes massive destruction of trees and results in soil erosion.

While mentioning about their visit to the Dumping Ground in Tura, he informed that the compost plant though commissioned earlier is yet to be operational.

He also shared his observation about the serious environmental concern caused by the seepage of the garbage including Bio-medical waste from the dumping ground to the nearby stream which then flows into the Ganol river.

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Further, he informed that the Committee had directed the concerned departments to take action and submit the report to the committee.

Emphasizing the serious environmental concern concerning sanitation and hygiene of the people in the district, the Member of the Committee, H Shangpliang stated that the collection and disposal of waste management system managed by Tura Municipal Board are inadequate since they have less infrastructure, fewer vehicles and more funds are necessary to upgrade the system for better management, he added.

Referring to the deep burial method being followed to dispose of the Covid-19 Bio-medical waste in the dumping ground in the absence of incinerator, he suggested the Municipal Board to seriously follow the COVID protocol and also mentioned that the members have seen some cows eating garbage in the dumping ground.

Further, he mentioned that while visiting the Gandrak stream they have seen many illegal and temporary structures very close to the stream and that the household and commercial establishments residing near the streams are directly throwing garbage and toilet waste to the stream.

Another observation he shared was about the locality of Rishipara which is densely populated and people have been throwing garbage and emptying waste to the streams directly and also mentioned about the unhygienic condition of the Kabul Bazaar.

Further, the Member, considering the importance of the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board, stated that the office with a laboratory should be set up in Garo Hills region also to cater to the environmental concerns of the district. He had also directed the officials to take necessary measures about the violators of building bye-laws in the district.

The Members also mentioned that the sand mining, brick kilns and stone quarries in the area are damaging the environment to a large extent and therefore, measures should be taken to protect the environment, he added.

Other Members of the Committee also shared their views and opinions to protect and safeguard the water catchment areas, Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, minimise pollution of streams and rivers amongst others.