TODAY -

Clogging the waterways with plastics When the sky opens up
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 06, 2024 -



If this does not jolt the senses of the people and more importantly the Government, then nothing will.

Nothing that one can do when the sky opens up and batters a place with incessant rain for days but it should be more than clear that the devastation that the non-stop rain has brought about could have been averted to an appreciable extent.

Cyclone Remal was lesson number two for Manipur to have woken up to the grim reality for the place earlier was pummelled with heavy rain and hailstorm in the early days of May this year.

Come to the end part of May and Manipur yet again found herself at the receiving end of Cyclone Remal with river banks caving in at several points and submerging a large number of dwelling houses which happened to be in the way of the water gushing out from the rivers.

Roads and leikais and leiraks remained underwater for days on end and even when the rain fizzled out, the water stayed logged for days altogether.

Even as Manipur was slowly limping back to normalcy, another wet spell hit the State sending the water level at the major rivers running through the heart of Imphal city above the danger level with embankments caving in at certain points.

Roads, fields, houses inundated and while the exact loss incurred in the flood is yet to be worked out, it remains that Manipur has already been hit hard in quick succession in the past few days.

This is besides the ongoing ethnic clash that has already taken a heavy toll on the people from either side of the clash divide and nobody knows when the Sun or God will smile on the beleaguered State of Manipur.

As a conscientious young man put up on his Facebook status some days back, why canít the Government utilise the dry season, that is the winter months to dredge the river beds and clean the water ways to ensure a free flow of the water, especially when the sky opens up in all its glory ?

A question best left to the policy framers of the land to answer, but this is a practical question which should not be swept under the carpet.

Of equal concern is a report carried by a prominent news establishment which detailed how rampant and improper disposal of single use plastic water bottles has blocked the free flow of the rivers resulting in flooding of the residential areas, not to speak of the roads.

Mark the stress on the words single use plastic water bottles and this is where one is left wondering what has happened to the earlier decree of the Government to ban the sale and use of half a litre of water bottles ?

Or has this decision been rolled back ?

Or if it has not, what is stopping the Government from cracking the whip and coming down on the sale and use of such banned items ?

Only the Government will have the answer but this casualness is not acceptable, especially when the world is talking about plastic pollution.

In as much as the Government need to pull up their socks and demonstrate that it is here to govern, the people too should learn to look beyond their nose.

It is the selfishness, the refusal to acknowledge that what one does can have an impact on the lives of others which is largely responsible for the all round degradation that one sees around.

This should explain why all the waterways, starting from the khongbans to the rivers that run through Imphal are today choking with plastic wastes.

Other than this, it is also clear that the natural waterways, the khongbans are today no longer the khongbans that one knew of earlier.

The selfishness of the people can be easily discerned from the manner in which one sees how khongbans have been encroached upon and what were once sizeable waterways at every leikais and leiraks are today nothing more than extremely small nullahs and that too clogged with plastics and domestic wastes.

With the Weather office predicting that Manipur is likely to face more rain in the coming days, that is till July 9, one can expect to see more flooding and more water logging.

This is perhaps the right time for everyone to sit back, look back at their past conduct and learn to digest that the plastic water bottles and plastic carry bags which they so casually throw into the khongbans will stay there and come back to haunt them as floods when the sky opens up.



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