Call to clean, beautify state rivers, streams

SHILLONG, Oct 13: Congress leader and member of the Assembly Committee on Environment, H.M. Shangpliang, has suggested the rejuvenation of rivers and streams in the state by replicating successful methods of converting water bodies elsewhere in the country into tourist spots.
“The river in Ahmedabad that was so dirty and polluted has turned into a tourist attraction by PM Narendra Modi. A similar project for our rivers and streams can add to the beauty of Shillong,” he said, while referring to the polluted Umshyrpi and Wahumkhrah rivers.
Stating that these rivers are demanding desperate action from the environmentalist, policymakers and the youths, Shangpliang said: “Once a year, on October 2 marking Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, people come alive and start cleaning a portion of a river or a drain. But I think the government needs to come up with an effective policy.”
He lamented the discharge from septic tanks being released directly into the streams and rivers and garbage tossed out of kitchen windows into the rivers in Shillong. “Somebody should do something, create some type of atmosphere so that these rivers and streams are protected,” he said.
Urging the government to look into these aspects, Shangpliang said proposals have to be submitted to the authorities concerned for drawing the interest of the Centre for projects.
Referring to the recent visit of the Union Minister of Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, he said: “I thought the government would appeal to him, a leader from the North East for projects to save the Umshyrpi and Wahumkhrah from pollution.”
The Congress leader pointed out that optimism had run high when Shillong MP Vincent H. Pala was also Minister of State Water Resource, but things did not work out in terms of decontaminating the rivers and streams of Meghalaya.

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