SHILLONG, Feb 27: Chief Secretary RV Suchiang said the state government is working towards saving the dying rivers and water bodies but made it clear that the onus was on the public to ensure that follow the building bye-laws and refrain from polluting the water bodies.
“You have to involve everybody and not just the government. Today we clean and tomorrow they dump garbage. People have to imbibe civic sense and it is important to make them aware that there are water bodies which should not be polluted,” the Chief Secretary said on Sunday.
Suchiang was responding to a query on whether it was true that although the government was asserting that it has been working towards saving the dying rivers but not much is seen on the ground.
On the immediate steps being taken for cleanliness of the Umiam Lake as directed by the Meghalaya High Court, she said, “We have already issued a notice for sealing three construction sites coming up in that area. There are more steps being taken.”
She further said that the state government is working on the order of the High Court and is planning to come up with a roadmap that includes demarcation of Umiam Lake into zones.
“Building permissions beyond municipal areas is also being taken care of to ensure that no construction comes up within the specified zone,” Suchiang said.
The Chief Secretary also said that the state government will file another affidavit highlighting the short-term and long-term solutions.
The Meghalaya government recently issued an order under Section 144 CrPC directing that necessary environmental clearance will have to be obtained from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) for all construction activities in areas falling within 100 metres of Umiam Lake.