Meghalaya Planning Board launches ‘Sla and Pla’ campaign to banish plastic  

SHILLONG: Chairman of Meghalaya State Planning Board, Lambor Malngiang stressed on the importance of using the Pla (cloth) and the Sla (leaves) instead of plastics as they are environment friendly  and can also generate income and employment avenues.

Malngiang was speaking at the launch of the project “Beat Plastic Pollution with Sla & Pla” at Laitumkhrah Parking lot, Shillong. The project is a mission mode initiative of  Meghalaya State Planning Board.

Stating that effects of plastics on the environment are devastating and there has to be a control, he said, “It is time for us to take this problem seriously and work towards eradicating it”.

“We must stop using plastic altogether. We can make these campaigns successful by saying ‘no to plastic’”, he said.

Meanwhile, local MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh said the Shillong Municipal Board should set up an incinerator for Laitumkhrah to burn waste.

She recalled that her brother and former MLA R.G. Lyngdoh had also initiated steps to replace plastic way back in 2004-2005 and expressed surprise that the same topic of plastic menace resurfaces after 15-16 years.

Environmentalist Naba Bhattacharjee, said that cultivation of lamet (leaves) should be encouraged.

Executive director of Bethany Society, Carmo Noronha said that a kiosk which sells cloth, leaves (dopwai and lamet) has been set up. The kiosk is made from recycled materials except for the wood and is designed and made by Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

Chairman of Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board, C P Marak said that as per a report in 2017-18 found that the Shillong Municipal Board and the Shillong Cantonment Board recorded over 8 MT of plastic generated/produced per annum.

“It is just the tip of the iceberg. The figures do not capture the areas covered not coming under the jurisdiction of the two boards”, he said.

Action plan for rejuvenation of two rivers

Marak informed that Meghalaya State Rejuvenation Committee has prepared an action plan for the rejuvenation of  Wah Umkhrah and Umshyrpi rivers which was approved by the Central pollution Control Board.

The Action Plan has assigned responsibilities to various government departments, local urban bodies. As for the other rivers found in Shillong, he said that the rivers have not degraded resulting from high level of pollution and these rivers can be rejuvenated with little intervention.

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