By Our Reporter, Shillong News | Shillong, April 07, 2018:
The Ranikor river, which was once known for its crystal clear water and home to various species of fish and other aquatic life, is now a dying river and this is evident from the mass death of aquatic species.
The issue of dying rivers in Meghalaya is not a new thing. Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, has, infact, two major river bodies which are now reduced to streams — Umkhrah and Umshyrpi rivers and this was caused by habitation and lack of civic sense amongst the residents.
We have Jaintia Hills — home to major rivers like Lukha and Myntdu but unfortunately, these rivers, too, are dead. Thanks to unregulated coal mining!
Coming back to Ranikor (Kynshi) river, it wasn’t long ago when this site was one of the favourite picnic and fishing spots owing to its clear waters and its lush green surroundings. But all that has changed. The sudden transformation in the colour of the river — from blue to green is something that the people of South West Khasi Hills cannot comprehend.
Students’ organisations like the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has blamed exploratory uranium mining in the area for its transformation, which according to them is still being carried out in the remote corners of the district.
This is not the first time that this dying river has produced death fish. Last year, the same case was reported and voices were raised against uranium mining in the region. But everything came to a halt after it was decided that mining will not continue without the people’s consent. However, according to KSU, there was a breach of trust when mining was secretly carried out by UCIL.
Again, in the month of January this year, mass death of fish species was reported even as the river changed in colour. Similar instances of dead aquatic life in the river have reportedly been happening since 2012.
THESE PICTURES TAKEN RECENTLY WILL WORRY YOU
Images contributed by KSU member Marconi Thongni