Reviving the ‘lucid serene streams’ of Shillong

              Trails of destruction

The rampant disposal of wastes from every source has left the rivers of today in a sordid state. The consequence is undoubtedly a result of our actions. (ST)

Water pollution is the contamination of  water bodies such as drains, lakes, rivers, stream and groundwater.

Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate protection and treatment to remove harmful compounds both of Solid and Liquid waste. It affects the flora and fauna living in water bodies. In many cases, the affect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities.

There are many causes for water pollution but two general categories exist:

1. Direct

2. Indirect contaminant sources.

Direct sources include effluent (sewage and sullage) outfalls from households, tea stalls, offices, restaurant, refineries, establishment, workshops etc. that emit harmful fluids of varying quality and degree directly into urban water supplies.

Indirect contaminant sources: Indirect Contamination movement of pesticide from treated land by heavy rains and runoff water or by soil erosion.

Developing behavioural change will bring in positive results in improving and restoring the Wah Umkhrah and Umshyrpi to its original state because no State/ Nation will develop if people do not have a positive outlook toward aspects as serious as these.

If one responsible person is concerned about improving and contributing towards the natural environment and improving social infrastructure, the other acts otherwise by disposing Solid and Liquid waste indiscriminately as he lacks awareness and sense of responsibility towards the environment.

However, behavioural change comes when we are ready to see things or the environment differently and being concerned and responsible citizens and aim toward a cleaner and safer place to live in.

This can be achieved by imparting and accepting awareness as a key component for positive results. Damage to Mother Nature has reached its peak and if we do not stop now, we will burden ourselves with dangers that are can be destructive.

Now that people are realising the dangers of harming the Environment, positive causes such as awareness has helped curb the problems to a certain extent-

1. Preventing The Runoff of Storm Water, Recharge pits, Natural boundaries.

2. Promoting more seepage into soil.

3. Treating this wastewater before releasing it into the water bodies by providing of bar screen and maintain them properly by the authority concerned.

Awareness towards control of pollutants will be a step in bringing about change and improving the condition of our streams.

We cannot continue to harm the flora and fauna that live in our ecosystem.

We all need to be concerned that pollutants affect every single thing that depend on oxygen from microorganisms up to humans.

Improving water quality of our streams, rivers is certainly a very important task that needs to be addressed at all levels – local, State, Regional, National as well as international.

Clean and Pollutant free rivers mean healthy environment, and healthy environment means healthy living.

Many people ignore the fact that our planet is now polluted more than ever before, and that many animals and marine life are dying because of it.

They fail to see the importance of these animals and underestimate the importance of biodiversity..

Biodiversity is the key to human well being and we should definitely be doing more to stop biodiversity loss which is a serious threat to our very own survival.

Dumping of Solid waste on Road sides:

Indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes on road side like plastic bags, paper, foils, and plastic bottles of different types and other waste materials are being disposed on the side of the roads and remain untouched for days on end until rain water washes them away and ultimately flow toward the main drains and these in turn feed the streams and rivers. Waste is seen dropping out of garbage vehicles due to non existence of scientific cover of vehicle tops.

Seeing these main streams (Wah Umkhrah and Umshyrpi) being piled with different types of waste be it Solid or Liquid waste, makes us realise on the amount of damage that we have created . Humans everyday makes us feel guilty at what we have done to the nature and what kind of environment we leave for our generation in future.

These streams have changed its quality content during the 70’s to 80’s. All of us residing in Shillong city and in different localities especially in the catchment areas are responsible for deformation of these streams (Wah Umkhrah and Wah Umshyrpi).

Feeder Drain to Wah Umkhrah stream: The stream originating from Mawshubuit locality(Happy valley) flows into the Umpling and Wah Umkalier stream which then finally joins the Wah Umkhrah River. During its course, different activities are carried out like washing of clothes and cars in which lubricants is being disposed, discharged of sullage and direct disposal of sewage from households and different tributary drains all pollute the rivers. This stream passes through Demseiniong, Polo, Lawmali besides Wahingdoh, Riatsamthiah, and Mawlai Nongpdeng which all join to the famous Bidon Falls (25°35’13.58″N latitude and 91°52’10.62″E Longitude).

Feeder Drain to Wah Umshyrpi stream: The main drains coming from Nongthymmai, Jingkieng, Fire Brigade meeting at the lower point of Cleve colony, flowing towards woodland Hospital, joining with the Malki stream which originated from Malki (Wah kdait). This stream passes through Dhankheti flows towards Malki ground towards Crinoline swimming pool, Red cross, Rhino museum, behind Tuberculosis Hospital, towards Mawprem Bishop Falls locality and finally by the time it reaches Bishop Falls (25°35’1.73″N Latitude and 91°51’51.52″E Longitude, Approx.) it is highly polluted and contaminated with effluents and dirt of varying types.

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