River polluted from deluge of plastics from city streams

SHILLONG, Jul 7: The Umiam dam which generates power for Meghalaya is polluted with garbage from within Shillong city.

These garbage especially plastic wastes flow from the two streams of the city Umkhrah and Umshyrpi into Dongrla (river Rising) is about 5 km from the Shillong-Guwahati road.

This place is strewn with wastes like footwear, medicine bottles, plastic bottles which have spoiled the scenic beauty of the place surrounded by rolling hills.

The flow of plastic wastes is especially acute during rainy season and residents living near the area like, Mawlai Nongpathaw and Mawlai Mawiong make a living from the garbage by collecting the plastic wastes.

“Around 2000 residents from these three localities make a living by picking the plastic wastes apart from earning a living through fishing,” Phlasson Kharpan, an elderly resident living in the area told Shillong Mail.

“Earlier we used to get enough fishes but now we hardly get a kilo a day,” Kharpran said.

“However, the collection of plastics and other garbage in this place has become headache for us since we cannot collect fish anymore,” he added.

Kharpran said that during his younger days water from the river could be drank but now it cannot even think of setting foot in this river.

He also said that Mawdun village where he lives is a clean place and alleged that the plastic wastes flows from Shillong into this particular river.

“The river has become so dirty that fishes cannot survive anymore,” Kharpran said.

He also expressed concern that many times authorities come to this place to conduct awareness programmes to clean the mess.

“How one expects to clean the place up when all the filth flows from the city. The situation is even worse when the rain stops and water starts to recede,” Kharpran added.

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