The Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Environment has called for an in-depth study to ascertain the cause of the waters of the Lukha River in East Jaintia Hills district turning ‘deep blue’.
The Committee inspected the mysterious bluish colour of Lukha River on Monday.
After conducting an inspection of the blue coloured waters of Lukha River, the Assembly Committee on Environment has sought reports from the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Speaking on the matter, Mawsynram MLA Himalaya Shangpliang said, “The panel has sought reports from MSPCB and CPCB for a detailed study into it so as the report of the study can be tabled in the House.”
The Committee also inspected the downstream of the Lukha River and the confluence of Lukha and Lunar river.
The Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Environment comprises of Mawphlang MLA SK Sunn, Raliang MLA Comingone Ymbon and Mawsynram MLA Himalaya Shangpliang.
The panel also has East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner E Kharmaliki, Additional Deputy Commissioner SS Syiemlieh and senior officials of MSPCB and CPCB as its members.
Earlier, the Khasi Students Union (KSU) on December 21 had set a deadline of three weeks to Meghalaya Government to find out the ‘actual cause’ of the ‘mysterious blue’ colour of river Lukha in East Jaintia Hills district.
A delegation of the Narpuh unit of the KSU had met E Kharmalki, deputy commissioner of East Jaintia Hills district, and submitted a memorandum demanding an ‘independent inquiry’ into the issue.
The KSU members told the deputy commissioner that the most beautiful river of East Jaintia hills district turns ‘blue’ every winter since 2007.
“Thousands of fish have died and the water is no longer fit for drinking,” the KSU had said in its memorandum.
The KSU alleged that the Lukha River changing colour into ‘blue’ is due to the release of untreated effluents by cement factories in the area.
In East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, Topcem Cement and Star Cement are the largest producers of cement.
Topcem Cement has its production unit at Umdoh near Thangskai, and its mines are at South Khliehjri. Star Cement has its unit at Lumshnong.
Notably, at a time when the people in Narpuh of East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya are blaming the cement factories for turning the water of Lukha river-system ‘deep blue’ and highly toxic, Topcem Cement is deliberately ‘hiding’ its Mine Reports.
Topcem Cement, which extracts limestone from South Khliehjri mine, did not publish its upstream and downstream water analysis report after August 2019.
Topcem produces about 4,600 tons of cement daily.
While the cement companies have always been claiming that they were not responsible for changing colour of Lukha river, according to experts, Calcium Carbonate slush from limestone mines can change colour of river waters to ‘blue’.