Wednesday, April 24, 2024

River rejuvenation work leaves lot to be desired


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SHILLONG, March 24: The river rejuvenation project of Meghalaya government leaves a lot to be desired as RTI findings state that funds to the tune of over Rs 52 crore have been earmarked for this endeavour, while more than Rs 21 crore has been sanctioned and tender floated in this regard, but nothing much has been reflected on the field.
This was revealed by the Green-Tech Foundation (GTF), an organisation which is involved in attempts to rejuvenate many dying rivers in the state. Chairman of GTF, H Bansiewdor Nonglang said this while the team was engaged in cleaning the stretch of Wahumkhrah near Seng Khasi School. He said the findings are based on the RTI obtained in November 2021.
Nonglang said that Rs 19 lakh was sanctioned in 2019 to clean the Polo stretch of the river, while in 2013, the KHADC, via the 13th Finance Commission, spent Rs 50 lakh for the cause. Again in 2016, the Council spent another Rs 1.25 crore to clean Wahumkhrah and Wahumshyrpi in Shillong.
Pointing out that Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had in February launched a programme amounting to Rs 39 crore under the river front development for Wahumkhrah, Nonglang, however, expressed doubt if the initiatives will bear fruits.
Meanwhile, talking about the GTF’s river cleaning initiative, he was grateful that many groups and Dorbar Shnong came forward with support.
Stating that they started the trial project at Wahumkhrah from March 3, he said after a successful result, the same model was applied to other polluted rivers in the state. If pollution at Wahumkhrah is not addressed immediately, then a grave danger also awaits the Umiam river downstream and the people there, Nonglang added.
It may be mentioned that Wahumkhrah and Umshyrpi are among the top 45 most polluted rivers in the country.
The GTF is also engaged in rejuvenating the Nonbah and Nongdeiñ rivers in West Khasi Hills.


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