Bangladesh takes up with Meghalaya pollution of Sari river due to coal mining

SHILLONG, Aug 20: Bangladesh authorities on Tuesday took up the issue of pollution of Myntdu river in West Jaintia Hills district.

The matter of pollution of the Myntdu river which is known as Sari river in Bangladesh came up for discussion during the meeting between officials of police and civil administration of seven border districts of both Meghalaya and Bangladesh which was held in the city.

“The issue was raised by the deputy commissioners from Bangladesh since we have common rivers, we must look into the matter and we should take necessary steps to make it convenient for all to use river water and to ensure the water pollution does not occur,” Ahmad Kabir, the district magistrate of Jamalpur district in Bangladesh who is the leading the 52-member Bangladeshi team said.

The Jamalpur district magistrate said that there are concerns that in the Sari river called Myntdu in Meghalaya, there is existence of metallic components during to coal mining.

Kabir also said that the Indian authorities from Meghalaya had taken up the issue of the presence of militant camps in Bangladesh soil which were however disproved by the latter.

“There are no such camps in Bangladesh. Both countries in recent years shared information regarding cross border terrorism. Bangladesh many times demonstrated strong opposition against all kinds of terrorism and extremism,” he added.

Kabir also said that Bangladesh has never harboured terrorist groups in its country.

On the concern put forward by the Meghalaya authorities on the rampant cattle smuggling from the country into Bangladesh, the district magistrate of Jamalpur district said that smuggling in any kind should not be promoted.

“We want to curbs such activities and the BSF and the BGB will work together to ensure that such acts are put to an end,” Kabir said.

Earlier, addressing the inaugural function, Meghalaya additional chief secretary, RV Suchiang informed the gathering that apart from the two border haats – Kalaichar in West Garo Hills and Balat, East Khasi Hills which exists in the state, two more are proposed to come up in September are Bholaganj and Ryngku in East Khasi Hills.

“Another one in Nolikata, East Khasi Hills will be made functional by December,” Suchiang said.

She also informed that during an earlier such meeting held in 2015, there was an agreement for setting up border haats at Huroi, East Jaintia Hills and Dalu, West Garo Hills.

She also informed that the Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) would be set up at two strategic places in Shella, East Khasi Hills and Borsora, South West Khasi Hills.

She also urged the officials from Meghalaya and Bangladesh to come up with standard operating procedure when it comes to repatriation of people who have served in terms.

“I hope that this meeting would come out with something concrete on the extradition of people who have served jail term in the respective countries,” Suchiang said.

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