Meghalaya will now have to designate a nodal agency for the restoration of polluted water bodies in the State.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has recently directed all states and union territories to designate nodal agencies for the restoration of water bodies within their respective jurisdictions.
“All states/UTs may forthwith designate nodal agencies for the restoration of water bodies, wherever no such agency has so far been so designated,” said a four-member NGT bench headed by its Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel.
According to the NGT, the nodal agencies under the oversight of the Chief Secretaries concerned, shall hold their meetings not later than January 31, 2021 to take stock of the situation and plan further steps, including directions to district authorities on further course of action up to the village level and to evolve further monitoring mechanisms as well as grievance redressal mechanisms.
The NGT also asked the nodal agencies to submit their reports periodically to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) or the Secretary, Jal Shakti Ministry. It also directed that the first such report should be submitted by February 28, 2021.
Meghalaya has a number of polluted rivers. These include Umkhrah and Umshyrpi in Shillong city, Myntdu in Jowai, Lukha in East Jaintia Hills, Kyrhuhkhla in West Jaintia Hills, Umtrew in Ri-Bhoi, and Nanbah in Nongstoin,
On May 28 this year, the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) has informed the NGT that Ward’s Lake and Umiam Lake have been identified as polluted water bodies based on the water quality monitored under National Water Monitoring Programme of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
MSPCB has also submitted an action to CPCB for restoration of these two polluted lakes.