Shillong, March 10: The North Eastern Service of All India Radio, Shillong in collaboration with Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council today organized a semir on "Umkhrah River Then and Now" (Ka Wah Umkhrah Mynnor Bad Mynta) at Community Hall, Jaiaw Shyiap Lumpyllon, Shillong.
The aim of the semir is to sensitize the students studying at the different schools located along Umkhrah River in the city on the need to keep the river clean.
Speaking as chief guest, the Chief Executive Member of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Adelbert Nongrum lauded the efforts of North Eastern Service of All India Radio, Shillong for
organising the semir to educate the public on the need the keep Umkhrah River clean.
Nongrum said much have been spoken on the need to keep the river clean and it is time now for action.
Nongrum informed that the KHADC had organized a programme in cleaning Umkhrah River and yet the river is as dirty as before.
He advocated the involvement of KHADC, government departments, traditiol bodies and public in order to restore the past glory of this river.
Nongrum also gave away prizes to the winners of Self Composed Poetry Competition on 'Wah Umkhrah'.
Delivering a Keynote Address on the occasion, former Lok Sabha member from Meghalaya and retired Principal of Union Christian College, Dr BR Kharlukhi termed the poem, "Ka Wah Umkhrah" written by Victor G Bareh as a "classic" composition.
Dr Kharlukhi said the poet who lived at Jaiaw Lum Syntiew locality beside Umkhrah River had seen it with his own days and not as it is now.
Dr Kharlukhi said Umkaliar Falls is the source of Umkhrah River which passes through the heart of the city before it joins with Umiam River.
Retelling the story rrated to him by his grandmother, who was a resident of Mawlai, Dr Kharlukhi informed that there were three pools along the river in the recent past and they have disappeared over the passage of time due to siltation.
He was told by his grandmother that one of the places along Umkhrah River in Mawlai locality was known as "Iap Hati" because many elephants died in this place.
Dr Kharlukhi also informed that at the bottom of the Supani Falls there is a cave, in which, very few people know about it.
He also informed that Supani Hydro Electric Project in Shillong, where the water was supplied from Umkhrah River for generating electricity to Shillong town was set up due to the efforts of the then West Bengal Chief Minister, Dr BC Roy. In 1920, Dr. Roy visited Shillong and he was amazed to see the scenic beauty of the city and when the night came, he was at a loss due to total darkness and decided that electricity should be immediately provided to the entire Shillong town. He got the Sunpani Hydro Electric Project completed within a record time of eighteen months.