Expert panel to prepare plan for restoration of polluted water bodies in Meghalaya

  • | Friday | 14th October, 2022

Shillong, Oct 14 (PTI) A 10-member expert committee headed by Meghalaya Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) B K Lyngwa will soon come up with an action plan for restoration of polluted water bodies in the northeastern state.The committee constituted in June in compliance with a High Court order to advise the state government on measures for restoration and protection of water bodies in the state, will advise the state government on latest technology and methods to be used for cleaning and rejuvenation of water bodies.After chairing the second meeting of the committee, Lyngwa said on Thursday, "We are in the process of formulating the action plan. The question of funding will come later on." The action plan will be site specific to every river and will cover the whole state except those water bodies in the wildlife protected areas, reserved forests and water-bodies dealt with by the State Wetland Authority and River Rejuvenation Committee and the fish ponds, he said.The major rivers of Meghalaya - Umkhrah, Umshyrpi, Umtrew, Lukha and Myntdu - have been excluded from the purview of this committee.Also, 53 wetlands which are being taken care of by the Wetland Authority and over 60 rivers are also kept out of the purview of this committee.The principal chief conservator of forest said: "The action plan – will be divided into four categories – one will be of an advisory in nature, second will be of regulatory nature, third will be of a participatory nature and fourth will be of a restoratory in nature." Lyngwa also informed that the committee is in the process of asking the deputy commissioners for information about such water bodies.Some districts like East Jaintia Hills, East Garo Hills, South Garo Hills, North Garo Hills, South West Garo Hills, West Garo Hills have submitted the list of water bodies.The other districts have clubbed fish ponds due to which it is giving distorted figures and the committee has decided not to take the information into consideration."We have given 10 days" time for these districts to submit the required information as per format (given to them)," he said.The chairman further informed that studies will also be carried out in two seasons – dry and rainy seasons – for collection of baseline data related to pollution and others. It is expected to be completed within six months.Meanwhile, expert member Nababrata Bhattacharjee said over 10,000 water bodies have been listed in the earlier report submitted by the districts before the committee was constituted. However, the majority were shown as "fish ponds" which were not considered.Bhattacharjee, who is also chairman of the State Expert Appraisal Committee, said that a format has been sent to all the deputy commissioners giving parameters on how they should identify water bodies, which are affected, polluted and contaminated. PTI JOP RG

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