Meghalaya govt orders probe ‘blue’ water

  • The Meghalaya Government ordered a magisterial inquiry into the recent unusual phenomenon of water in River Lukha turning blue and death of thousands of fishes.
  • The Lukha river originates from the Nongkhlieh Elaka and flows along the Narpuh reserve forest of Jaintia Hill and drains itself into the Surma valley in Bangladesh.
  • In January 2007 also, the discolouration of the river led to the death of thousands of fishes. The 2007-08, the Meghalaya Pollution Control Board (MKSPCB)’s report stated that the river was polluted and had turned blue because of its tributary the Lunar River, The report also mentioned that excessive acidity present in the Lunar, the catchment area of which lies in the coal mining region, reacted with the limestone and resulted in the blue river.
  • However, people in Narpuh and Sonapyrdi area attributed the phenomenon to the effluents from cement factories that sprang up in Lumshnong area. In Narpuh Elaka, there are around ten cement plants operating. Experts stated that these factories have dry processes of production; therefore, polluting the river with their sewerage is negligible.