Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Save the Myntdu river!


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Recently during my Google search for the rivers of India, I came across an interesting article titled “Protecting Myntdu before its too late” written by HH Mohrmen and published in The Shillong Times ( Aug 6, 2012). I must have missed reading it because I was travelling then. The article clearly spelt out the threat to the Myntdu river which flows around Jowai town because of increased pollution arising out of public indifference and the detrimental activities in its catchment. The article also pointed to the failure of the political leadership to come out with a blue print to save the river which is possibly because of limited vision and the failure of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council to carry out its mandatory responsibility. Mohrmen also pointed to the wrong approach by the concerned State Government Department which simply treats the symptoms and not the cause and I may also add for not generating public awareness of the need to conserve the river. Indeed, the Myntdu river has been the lifeline of the people of Jowai from time immemorial and was always revered by our ancestors. It is still revered even today. This river continues to be the lifeline with cultivated field in its valleys; it is still the source of drinking water for the town. People also throng towards it throughout the year for recreational purposes. At present the Myntdu is almost choking and is struggling for survival. While the citizens of Jowai seem to be oblivious of the threat, they are only now beginning to perceive it and are genuinely concerned about this. However, the concern is yet to manifest itself in the form of a collective responsibility to clean up the river. But they cannot afford to remain complacent any longer. The recent highly publicised campaign of the citizens of Shillong to reclaim the Umkhrah river should urge the citizens of Jowai to focus on the issue in right earnest before the river suffers the same fate as the river Umkhrah, for, by then it will be too late. I am sure the people of Jowai realise that while they are fortunate to inherit the river from their parents in its pristine glory, it is their obligation to ensure that their children also inherit the same from them. It is now up to the citizenry of Jowai to make conscientious efforts towards protecting and conserving the river in its natural stage by initiating effective interventions while wholly participating in the process . Failure to do so will invite doom. We cannot allow our children to pay the price for our callousness.

Yours etc,.

KL Tariang,

Via email

 Justice for meritorious candidates


Different views have been expressed by readers on the appointment of Asstt LP School Teachers. In this connection, I also have a few observations and suggestions to share. Firstly, I congratulate those aggrieved candidates who were not satisfied simply with information received under the RTI Act but took the matter to Court for redressing their grievances. Hence the first and foremost task is to give justice to the genuinely qualified candidates by absorbing them as Asstt LP School Teachers in place of those falsely appointed on the basis of the manipulated marks shown in the score sheets. There have been as many as 550 such candidates as revealed in the CBI Report, if my memory does not fail me. Punitive action if any at all, against any involved persons should follow thereafter.

We are sorry that the former Education Minister who came directly from a college where the foul atmosphere of corruption and nepotism is unheard of. She succumbed to the requests of her fellow politicians at the cost of injustice to the deserving candidates. Her Education Department was not wise enough to conceal malpractices adopted unlike the other experienced recruiting agencies against whom many allegations have been leveled time and again. It sounds ridiculous to constitute the so called High Level Committee headed by the officials of the Education Department to re-examine the findings of the CBI. This is nothing but delaying tactics so that the aggrieved candidates will forget it in due course. We are afraid that this step will delay justice for the deserving candidates and allow the usurpers to enjoy the patronage they do not deserve at all.

Yours etc.

F Lyngdoh

Shillong – 6

 Controlling influx is Govt’s mandate


Influx should be controlled and the government must tackle this matter earnestly. Pressure groups like the KSU, FKJGP etc can check suspected illegal immigrants on and off on the plea that they pose a threat to “ka jaitbynriew”. But the fact is that they do not have the licence to take the law in their own hands. I may be misunderstood for writing this but I wish to stress that jaitbynriew is as dear to one’s heart as it is to the pressure groups. What is alarming is the propensity of the groups to take the law into their own hands in the name of the ‘ka jaitbynriew.’ This is not correct and can never be condoned. There have been many occasions when illegal migrants have been apprehended and made to leap frog and sent back to where they have come from. So far, so good even though, as stated earlier they have no authority to do so. Newspaper reports that the three labourers were asked to produce documents and their failure to do so resulted in their being assaulted resulting in death of one, is a heinous crime. No right thinking individual can accept this. If the labourers do not have valid papers they should be dealt with according to the law. Who gave the KSU the license to kill? Most importantly, will the culprits be brought to book so as to deter others from repeating similar acts? One wonders if the culprits are members of the KSU because a literate Khasi Students’ Union would not endorse such acts of violence. I clearly recall a member of the KSU saying that violence at Kokrajhar was due to the presence of such illegal migrants and the KSU does not want the Kokrajhar violence to happen in our state. Certainly, good thinking! But does this mean killing all suspected illegal migrants? This act of violence by the so called KSU members could trigger other unpleasant situations in our state and have repercussions outside it. Hence this must be checked by the government at all costs. However the main culprit behind the presence of numerous illegal migrants in the state is also the callous governments that have come and gone since the inception of the state. The problem of influx is not a recent one. Why have all the governments evaded this critical issue? Why do our representatives hesitate to tackle this volcanic problem time and again? Is it not because they depend heavily on their vote banks? Influx is a problem that affects every individual. Unless the state government is sincere about tackling this matter in a legal way innocent lives will continue to be lost. At the risk of sounding pessimistic, repercussions of the same may befall our brethren who happen to settle elsewhere in India? God forbid, if this happens, who are we to blame?

Yours etc.,

Dr Jenniefer Dkhar,

Shillong- 4


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