Sunday, June 16, 2024

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Discolouration of Lukha River

From Our Correspondent

The Lukha River in Jaintia Hills. (ST)

JOWAI: The Jaintia Hills District Administration has ordered an enquiry into the discolouration of the Lukha River which has resulted in the death of thousands of fishes.

Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner, T Dkhar, informed that the Sub-Divisional Officer, Khliehriat Civil Sub-Division has been asked to enquire into the matter.

“Only after a specific report is received from the SDO will further action be taken”, Dkhar said,

A cat fish, locally known as Kha Khla, weighing around 45 Kg was found from the discoloured Lukha River by a villager of Chymplong village in Jaintia hills district. The weak fish was caught alive along with some other small fishes. Sources informed that the person who caught the fish sold it in the nearby local market. The river water has turned a bluish-grey colour. Thousands of dead fishes have been recovered in the past three days.

A resident of Chymplong village, E Warjri informed that people of the area have stopped using the water from the river fearing that the contaminated water might cause health problems.

A resident of Myndihati, Rainess Sympli, who is the lessee of the River, claims that he has suffered great loss due to the unnatural discolouration of the river water.

“Since the river has been poisoned fisheds are dying by the thousands. I don’t think I can recover the money I had invested,” Sympli stated.

The Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council had leased the river to Sympli for a sum of Rs 2 lakh annually.

According to Sympli, the prime reason for the discolouration of the Lukha River and the consequent death of fishes is due to the effluents released from the cement factories in the surrounding areas. Environmental activists, HH Mohrmen and Arwat Challam, who had inspected the Lukha River on Tuesday, expressed their concern over the strange phenomenon afflicting the river.

“The discolouring and death of fishes started in 2007. Since then it has happened every year. The Government should find out the exact cause for the discolouration so that the problem is arrested.

Only after the inquiry team comes out with a clear report as to why the river changes its colour can we protect the river and the fishes,” Mohrmen said.

Meanwhile, a Khasi Students’ Union team led by Wanlambok Kharsati inspected the river on Wednesday. “We will take up the matter with the government shortly,” KSU Narpuh President RM Bamon said on Thursday.


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