FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Aug 9: Once a crystal clear river, the Umshyrpi running through the heart of Shillong has now become a “big sized drain” even as stakeholders today pledged to bring back its lost glory. Stakeholders today took a pledge that they can bring back life to the river to its once pristine state during the semir on, “Infusing Life into Umshyrpi River” organized by Shillong Muslim Union and Umshyrpi College in collaboration with the Rufford Foundation, UK. Umshyrpi College has taken the task to create awareness among the traditiol institutions, administration, teaching faculties, student community and people to clean the Umshyrpi River. Dr Soli Saha, an ecologist from Miami, Florida, USA, will impart basic technical training to bio-monitoring team of some teachers and students of Umshyrpi College who will also be a part in addressing issues and the capacity building in conserving the eco-system of the Umshyrpi River. The bio-monitoring team will also try to infuse and add life into Umshyrpi River and the college as nodal agent with other stakeholders will try to retain the water quality and its lost aesthetics. Dr Saha, who spoke on the occasion, said that the biomonitoring of Umshyrpi River should start with collecting, data alyse it and present to India Biodiversity portal, pollution control board and the local communities.
She also said that there was a need to build technological capacity, use of open source Geographic Information System, automated sensors for monitoring parameters remotely.
Environmentalist, ba Bhattacharjee, who had filed a petition before the tiol Green Tribul (NGT) to reclaim and protect two highly polluted and endangered rivers, Umkhrah and Umshyrpi, said that water pollution solutions must first start with the household and the home.
“Cleaning of rivers at certain point as it is being done makes no good,” Bhattacharjee said.