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State to save Lukha river by algae treatment

Shillong, June 30: Lukha river, East Jaintia Hills will be restored to its earlier stature.

The state government is coming up with a long-term solution for restoration of the Lukha damaged by mining activities

Forests and Environment Minister James K Sangma said, “We have been in regular consultation with experts from the United States and from Israel, who have been researching biotechnologies for water restoration.”

Lukha river regularly turns blue and this was observed since 2007.

James said the department has currently deployed phytoremediation on a pilot experiment basis.

Phytoremediation is the treatment of algae for the removal of toxic contents from water.

“As of now, the pilot experiment has shown encouraging results, with efficiency levels beyond our expectations,” James said.

The forest department is also looking at scaling this up in the coming days, he added.

The minister informed that the department is also planning to implement phytoremediation for other rivers, where issues range from high acidity to high alkalinity.

“As we are in the process of receiving consultation from experts, we hope to deploy more such measures in the coming days to maintain the pristine natural beauty of our state,” he said.

Sangma urged the people to support the initiatives taken by the government.

“We would also like to encourage various stakeholders and community groups to come forward and assist us in this initiative. We believe in mutual cooperation because when it comes to nature, it belongs to everyone,” he said.

Stressing a balance between economic activities and maintaining the environment, the minister asked the industries to follow all norms and guidelines.

The minister reminded that climate change is real and the urgency of a solution is being repeatedly cited by apex international bodies such as the United Nations.

Sangma said the department has decided to request the state and the central government to change the name of the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.

“The issue of climate change has to be dealt with in an urgent manner and we think there is no time remaining for us to wait anymore,” he added.

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