Policy needed to protect rivers

The Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) has come under the scanner of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for failing to properly comply with the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. The CPCB made the observation following a petition filed by Youth Mission for Clean River chairman SD Loda earlier in June this year, seeking a direction to the respondents to clean stretches of the Senki, Pachin and Dikrong rivers. The IMC in particular and the capital administration as a whole have miserably failed to protect the rivers and streams of the Itanagar capital region (ICR).

The Senki, Pachin and Dikrong rivers have become dumping grounds for wastes. The majority of the drains directly flow into these rivers. No efforts have been made to clean the rivers. Further, to make matters worse, rampant illegal sand mining is creating more trouble. Besides the three major rivers, the ICR used to have several streams. However, today these streams are either filled with litter or have completely vanished. The reckless behaviour of the citizens is the root cause. The authorities also failed to perform their duty and the result is here for everyone to see. Before it is too late, efforts should be made to save the Senki, Pachin and Dikrong rivers and various other streams and rivulets. For the future generation, these resources need to be protected. The state government should formulate a proper policy to ensure that urban waste is not dumped into rivers. Not only the ICR, this problem is affecting rivers flowing through various district headquarters too.