By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Following the mass death of fish in the Rilang and Kynshi rivers on April 12 last, different departments have taken steps to arrive at conclusions about the cause of death of the fish. While the Fisheries Department has collected dead fish samples the very next day and handed that over to the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Mining Department is conducting its own investigation to see if leaching from the uranium mines is the cause of death.
Similarly the State Pollution Control Board has also got samples of the dead fish for testing in their labs while some samples have been sent to the Central Pollution Board in Delhi.
The State Water Resources department is fairly young and is yet to set up proper infrastructure for water testing etc.
Commissioner and Secretary, State Water Resources department RM Mishra said on Thursday said that the department is engaging the water division of Infrastructure Leasing and Finance Company (ILFS) and the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) to set up water quality testing systems and to ensure that water bodies are adequately protected.
Mishra said that proper laws have to be enacted so that implementation is more focussed and those involved in pollution/poisoning of water bodies should be booked for criminal offence as this could lead to deaths of human beings as well, who consume the water.
The official also stated that funds have been earmarked for the purpose of ensuring water quality and protecting water bodies in Meghalaya.
It may be mentioned that the mysterious deaths of fish in Rilang and Kynshi rivers of Ranikor has raised the question about the quality of water in the two water bodies of the state. Several rivers in Jaintia Hills have also been found to be toxic and unable to support living organisms.