SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Environment has expressed concern over the shrinking lifespan of the Umiam Dam.
“We got certain documents from the engineers of the MeECL that the lifespan of the dam will end on 2024,” committee member Himalaya Shangpliang said after a visit to Dongrla, Wah Risang, which is part of the dam. It may be mentioned that recently pictures of a dirty Umiam lake went viral on social media.
Shangpliang said that it is really alarming for all, even as he appealed to all including the government to take stock of the situation.
“If the lifespan is only till 2024 so what will happen later. I want all stakeholders to be alert. Now siltation is happening in the Umïam Lake and that has to stop... there is serious siltation that is happening which is coming all the way from Shillong city and other adjoining towns,” he said. Shangpliang said that the dam was constructed in 1965 and on completion, the dam’s lifespan was 100 years. “Now how come we see the lifespan to be over by 2024,” he said.
Shangpliang also said that during their visit to the dam area, he found out that people living in the vicinity make a livelihood out of the wastes collected in the dam. According to him these people make Rs 18 per kilogram. “Their profit is more when there is heavy rainfall. But we won’t encourage this,” Shangpliang said.