By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Forest and Environment Minister Prestone Tynsong has admission that the iconic Ward’s Lake of Shillong is polluted due to discharge of untreated wastes from a hotel and the Shillong Club.
Replying to a Call Attention Motion on Thursday he said due to constant seepage of effluents even fishes were dying.
He also informed that the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) had taken up the issue of non-compliance of environment rules by the polluters, and accordingly, a joint inspection team at the behest of MSPCB visited the site in May 2011. The inspection team later recommended actions to control pollution by the Shillong Club residential quarter which is under the management of HK Loungani and Co., Shillong, the Shillong Club staff quarters directly under the management of the Club and the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) which is manning the parking lot adjacent to the Lake.
The joint inspection team, however, observed that the Lake View Inn Hotel has already installed waste water treatment plant and has been discharging effluents through the common conduit, Tynsong stated.
“The MSPCB has also issued consent to establish waste water treatment system to HK Loungani & Co on January 18 this year,” Tynsong told the House.
The Social Forestry Division, East Khasi Hills, through a letter dated January 20, 2012, addressed to MSPCB, informed that untreated effluents continue to be discharged to Ward’s Lake from the Shillong Club Ltd side.
Accordingly, the MSPCB wrote back to the Social Forestry for a joint inspection, which is yet to be conducted, Tynsong informed.
Later, on March 1, the Forest department reported that dead fishes were recovered from the Lake.
The Forest department attributed the fish mortality to discharge of untreated effluent including seepage from septic tank of the Shillong Club staff quarter, the Minister said.
According to Tynsong, MSPCB representatives inspected the hotel portion of the Shillong Club Ltd on March 12.
“During the inspection, HK Loungani and Co. told the team that an effluent treatment plant has been set up and the pipes have been laid to drain treated waste water from the hotel portion of the Shillong Club to the common conduit,” Tynsong said.
However, the Shillong Club management has not taken any step to prevent discharge of effluents to the Ward’s Lake from the staff quarters, the Minister stated.
Tynsong also informed the House that the department was mulling action in the form of stopping water supply or electricity to those who manage the staff quarters of the Shillong Club and also to the Shillong Municipal Board which looks after the parking lot, if they do not take up preventive and curative measures to control pollution within a responsible time which will be given to them shortly.
Earlier, moving the Call Attention Motion, Mawsynram legislator Pyngshngainglang N Syiem (Congress) expressed concern over the pollution of the Ward’s Lake due to direct release of effluents.
Syiem told the House that he being a regular jogger along the Ward’s Lake, was a witness to release of effluents into the Lake from the Shillong Club and also from the staff quarter of the Forest and Environment department which is located inside the Lake.
“If we do not take some urgent steps I fear that the Lake would one day turn into another Wahumkhrah,” the Mawsynram legislator said.
He also attributed to the death of fishes to the continuous discharge of wastes into the Lake.
When contacted, Raju Loungani of HK Loungani and Co, who is managing the residential portion of Shillong Club, said that pollution was from Shillong Club staff quarters and not from the residential portion.
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