Ningombam Ideal Youth Club, Thoubal blamed quarrying activities using heavy machinery for mud flowing in the river and drew the attention of the authorities concerned
Even as a severe water crisis is looming large due to depleting water levels across the state, Thoubal river has turned muddy making it unfit for human use. People residing along the river drew the attention of authorities to the issue.
A statement issued by Ningombam Ideal Youth Club, Thoubal on Saturday said quarrying activities using heavy machinery have been going on unabated resulting in mud flowing in the river. When people are reeling under severe crisis as all other water sources have dried up in winter, the river remaining unfit for daily use is a huge setback, it added.
The club lamented that despite knowing the situation, the concerned authority remained silent without taking action. Drawing a similarity between poppy plantations in hills and quarrying using heavy machinery in the river, the club said both are equally detrimental to the environment. It urged the authority to look into the issue.
According to sources, the powerful people with connections are behind the excessive quarrying activities in the Thoubal River extracting stones and sand from the riverbed by using heavy machineries and vehicles. They alleged that the government officials turned a blind eye to those powerful people engaging in quarrying at the river despite the Manipur High Court putting a total ban on unauthorised stone quarry and sand mining in all rivers of the state in order to prevent river pollution.
The high court in its ruling in 2019 directed officials to take preventive measures to stop the exploitation of the rivers. The high court ruling had come following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Thoubal River Conservation Committee, a civic body, seeking a stop to the exploitation of the Thoubal river.
An official source said as the water shortage gripped the state, chief minister N Biren Singh held two cabinet meetings to initiate actions to resolve it. Poppy plantations and deforestation are the chief reasons for shrinking water sources, N Biren Singh has said. He promised the Government will surely find a solution for the issue to alleviate the suffering of the people.