The comment of top Govt officials that the picture of the Umiam with plastic debris is an old one comes as a shock and surprise. It means that all along the Govt knew about the huge amount of waste being dumped into the Umiam lake but was clearly turning a blind eye. For years now plastic and waste from the Wah Umkhrah and Umshyrpi Rivers flow and collectively meet at a place which we the local people call Ro Ro ( Ranab Lum between Mawlai and Nongkseh) and after a short course it makes its way through the main Umiam river and all the waste flows and is deposited at Dongrola and slowly makes its way to the Umiam Lake. For years now the people from Mawdun villages and Kyndongrla collect these plastics and solid waste for recycling which in fact is a huge favour for us as it helps clean the river with their small efforts. This shows that people living in these areas are more educated than us living in the urban and the adjoining areas.
The caption “Umiam water level rises; Dam gates likely to be opened,” makes one wonder whether the Umiam reservoir since inception has remained the same and that the stone pillars which indicate the water level are accurate because huge amount of sand, soil and solid waste has been deposited in the lake for decades now. During the British rule a check dam was built at WeiKain for the then Shillong Hydro project ( behind the Present Mahindra servicing centre Jingkieng Mawlai). The question now arises whether the Govt has any plan or policy for reclaiming the Umiam Lake from the present dangers it faces? From what we can see happening now it seems that there is very little concern by the Govt and other agencies for the Lake as well as the Dam.
Let me cite a small example. The sign in Khyndailad, “Litter free zone.” Has become a big joke because no one cares at all!
As a concerned citizen I feel that much more stringent acts and laws should be enacted and stringently implemented. Government should involve all stakeholders, hotels, hospitals, government institutions, shopkeepers, school, colleges, religious institutions, localities, etc to save the Umiam River and for a green and clean state as a whole.
John. E. Lyngdoh Pyngrope
Why waste precious water?
I came across in your daily the announcement by the Chief Engineer MePGCL, of the likelihood of releasing precious water from the Umiam reservoir should the rains continue as predicted by the IMD. We appreciate this timely warning for the concerned villagers to take adequate precautions. But at this time let us also remind ourselves how precious water is particularly when we face power cuts every year for the simple reason that there is not enough water in the lake. Sadly, we now have to waste the excess water at the lake. I therefore urge the authorities concerned to find out ways and means to save this precious water.
One way of doing it is to construct two or three check dams upstream and convert them as road bridges to connect Shillong with villages in the Shiliang Um area. This will result in reducing the road distance with those villages and tremendously boost their economy. In fact these villages will ultimately form part of greater Shillong and help in decongesting the over saturated city. Whatever silt is deposited in these mini reservoirs upstream can be de-silted regularly and whenever the water level falls in the main lake, it can be fed from the mini reservoirs. I know the project entails a huge cost but it is worth investing in, considering the benefits which will far surpass the expenses in the long run. Even if for one reason or the other the Government does not agree with this suggestion, I urge them to address this issue urgently.
Indian cricket team has matured
The Indian team captain was very humble to accept a ‘devastating’ defeat as announced during the press conference post completion of the semi final game where India lost to New Zealand. The maturity demonstrated during the press conference of having accepted the defeat is overwhelming especially when a team with successive win records and being notable favourites to claim the title, lost the semi finals match only by a whisker.
Unlike previous World Cups, the team has achieved a notable and magnificent performance with exception of only 2 major losses including the semi finals and injuries to key players. The team’s opening batsmen were at the right occasion building a formidable partnership without giving much room by losing wickets at tense moments, with the exception of the semi final game. The bowling department too performed well with a hat trick by Mohd Shami and spinners/pacers snatching away the crucial game from opponents through important wickets- a key highlight of the team.
Finally the support staff mentored by Coach Ravi Shastri need to be lauded for their efforts made to reach the semi finals and also by staying focused on players performance and fitness during the tournament. BCCI should now take a stand on the exceptional performance demonstrated in the World Cup only to retain the support staff and coach or perhaps to start afresh with the selection process.