The Narpuh unit of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has demanded for an independent inquiry into the ‘blue’ coloured water of the Lukha River in East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya.
The KSU has written to the East Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner (DC) to initiate an inquiry into the matter.
In its letter to the DC, the KSU has stated that the river started to change its colour into ‘blue’ every winter since 2007.
“Thousands of fish died and the water is no longer fit for drinking,” the KSU stated in its letter.
The KSU alleged that the Lukha River changing colour into ‘blue’ is due to the release of effluents by cement factories and coal mining in the region.
“Many in the area blame the cement factories for the changing colour the river water, coal mining for over 30 years in the area may also be one of the reasons,” the KSU said, while demanding an independent inquiry to unravel the truth.
The KSU further demanded that the probe should be completed within three weeks.
Notably, many studies were undertaken during the last few years to study the changing colour of Lukha River.
All the studies revealed that limestone mining activities around the area have adversely affected the water quality.
Since 2005, there has been major limestone mining activities near Umdoh and Lumshnong areas in East Jaintia hills district of Meghalaya.
The area has the highest density of cement factories.
Meghalaya has around 15,100 million tons of limestone reserves, and exploitation limestone has been taking place on a large scale since 2005.
Lukha flows in the southern part of East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, and was always rated as one of the most beautiful and finest clean water rivers in Northeast India.
The river flows by Sonapur village and then descends into the Surma valley and ultimately ends up in the flood plains of Bangladesh.
It receives water from the rivulet Lunar (Wah Lunar) and small streams draining from the Narpuh Reserve Forest and the undulating hills of the area while flowing down.