Shillong, Aug 11: High Court of Meghalaya on Thursday asked the state government to monitor construction activities around Umiam lake.
During the hearing of the pending PIL, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and judge W Diengdoh said though it appears that steps have been taken to clean the Barapani waters and remove the floating garbage along the edge of the water, several new construction projects have been noticed around the lake.
“There is a new café which has come up on the eastern side, close to a car showroom. There is a construction coming up on industrial basis on the same side a few 100 metres down the road. There is also another construction on the northern side and close to the water level near Umiam.It is hoped that all construction activities which have a likelihood of affecting the Umiam waters are monitored and it is ensured that construction is taken up and to such extent as would be permissible in accordance with law upon undertaking an environmental impact assessment thereof”, the court said.
The court asked the state to report on the ongoing construction works around the Umiam lake, including the newly finished cafe and any other project in the pipeline for which any permission may have been sought or granted.
As far as the cleanliness of the lake is concerned, the court said it is hoped that the measures recently taken are continued on a periodic basis and both the locals and the tourists made aware by putting up appropriate signboards and ensuring that there is no littering or dumping of any material into the water.
“Volunteers or the like, preferably from the local areas, may be engaged for such purpose upon payment of some form of honorarium”, the court said.
The state has been asked to file an affidavit dealing with the matters referred to in the order within three weeks.
The matter will come up for hearing on September 12.