Govt to engage experts from outside, if needed

Colour change in Lukha river

SHILLONG, Feb 1: Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Monday said the state government, if needed, can engage experts from outside the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) to probe the colour-changing phenomenon of the Lukha river.
Tynsong’s statement comes in the wake of Assembly Committee on Environment asking the Central as well as the State Pollution Control Board to undertake a more in-depth study into the matter and submit a report before the Committee.
Mawsynram MLA HM Shangpliang, who is also a member of the Assembly Committee, has reiterated the need to conduct study into Lukha river.
“We have asked the state pollution board and the central pollution board to give us a detailed and an in-depth study of this whole thing so that we could apprise the government of this matter as well,” informed Shangpliang, while speaking to The Shillong Times, on Monday.
Informing about Committee’s recent visit to the site based on the complaints received from the locals, Shangpliang said that during the recent inspection, the Committee found the Lukha river at Sonapur to be blue and the same river at Brichyrnot village to be turmeric yellow in colour.
He also informed that when the blue-coloured water was collected in a jar, the water surprisingly was transparent.
“As per the experts and scientists, who had accompanied us, it has happened due to the mineral content in the water including the aluminum silica and other ingredients, and it turned blue due to the reflective index of the sun,” he said.
The MLA said that according to the experts, the reason behind it was because mining was carried out in an unscientific manner and the mineral-carrying water from the mines reaching the river.
With regard to the yellow colour of the Lukha river, Shangpliang said that according to the experts, it was due to the high content of pollutants in the mining area which is acidic in nature and hazardous to the flora and fauna.
“Even the boulders and the stones, which are already dried up, have turned yellow,” he said.
Shangpliang said the Committee was baffled when the members saw the upstream of the river to be yellow and downstream to be blue.
“It is time that the experts give us the clear reason. We will raise the issue in the floor of the House as the pollution in the river is affecting the human as well as aquatic lives,” the MLA bewailed.

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