Rs 15 crore has been sanctioned to create an onsite sludge management treatment plant in Mawphlang, Public Health Engineering Minister Marcuise Marak said today.
The minister’s response comes at a time when the residents of Wahlyngkien village in the Mawphlang area are facing the ruination of their crops and aquatic life in their streams due to sludge released from the existing water treatment plant that supplies Shillong with much of its drinking water.
Despite years of complaints raised by the residents there has been no positive outcome.
Following their meeting with the minister, Arbistar Lyngdoh, Rangbah Shnong of Wahlyngkien Mawphlang, spoke to reporters about the price that residents have had to pay for providing Shillong with water.
“The aquatic life is dead and even paddy fields are not suitable for agricultural purposes. We have raised this issue in the past with former PHE ministers but there has been no positive outcome,” Lyngdoh said. “This time we have apprised the present minister. If the discussion that we had today is not fruitful then we will take another course of action. We will even approach the court or the NGT (National Green Tribunal) if needed.”
Meanwhile, Marak acknowledged that he had witnessed firsthand the sludge being released into the nearby stream during his recent visit to the plant. He stated that the department is taking care of the matter.
The sanction of Rs 15 crore has been approved for the sludge management project, for which a tender will be floated very soon, and the new plant will be set up by January or February next year.