KHADC launches drive

Foundation stone laid for clean Wah Umkhrah project

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Mawlai Town Dorbar (MTD) chairman SD Khongwir has observed that the only way to restore the lost glory of Wah Umkhrah is through strict enforcement by the local Dorbar Shnong to direct its people to stop releasing waste materials into the river.

“The local Dorbar Shnong should not hesitate to use the stick to discipline the residents of their respective localities for the sake of restoring and preserving the Umkhrah River,” Khongwir, a former MLA from Mawlai, said while speaking during a function for unveiling of the foundation stone of the project for preservation of Wah Umkhrah initiated by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Saturday.

Observing that requests and pleadings to stop polluting the river has fallen on deaf ears, Khongwir said that experience shows that the citizens do not comply with such suggestions unless it is back by strict enforcement of laws by the concerned authority.

“The local Dorbar Shnong should come up with stringent rules for protecting the river. This would provide them (local Dorbar Shnong) with a strong tool for enforcement of its noble objectives of improving the condition of the river,” Khongwir said.

While admitting that it would be difficult to restore the Umkhrah to its former glory the Mawlai Town Dorbar Chairman said this initiative would definitely help improve the condition of the river to a large extent.

Khongwir however stated that the Umkhrah can only be saved if common people realize the importance for cleaning of the surroundings.

While lauding the efforts of the KHADC, he said that the Council has taken the right step by coming up with this project of involving the local Dorbar Shnong in the conservation and protection of the river.

Meanwhile, KHADC CEM Pyngshngain N Syiem said that it was with due deliberation that they have come up with this project of cleaning and restoring the Wah Umkhrah.

Syiem informed that that the Council has decided to earmark a total amount of Rs 50 lakh for this project while adding that the funds for this project would be allocated to the various local Dorbar Shnong along the Wah Umkhrah River through their respective elected MDCs.

He also stated that the Council is contemplating to come up with guidelines for conserving and protecting the Wah Umkhrah River.

“Since the Wah Umkhrah is now under the control of the Council, I feel that it is appropriate for the KHADC to frame some guidelines for the protection and conservation of the river,” Syiem said.

According to the KHADC CEM, these guidelines would dwell primarily on the parameters to protect the river while also elaborating on the activities which will not be allowed in areas close to the Umkhrah.

Syiem of Mylliem Latho Manik Syiem said that the Dorbar of the Syiem Mylliem has decided to hand over the Wah Umkhrah and Wah Umshyrpi to the Council after being convinced about the noble intention of the KHADC to protect these two rivers.

The KHADC CEM handed over a cheque to the three MDCs — Adelbert Nongrum, James Ban Basaiawmoit and Embhah Syiemlieh — to hand over to the Dorbar Shnong of their respective constituencies to take up projects for protecting the river.

Since Syiemlieh was not present on the occasion as he had to attend a function in his constituency, the cheque was handed over to Khongwir.

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