Detoxing pilot project has brought a river back from dead: Meghalaya

What is the news? 

Meghalaya government has claimed that a detoxing project through the use of phycoremediation has rejuvenated Lukha river. The project was funded by the “District Mineral Fund”. 

What is the reason for contamination? 

The Lukha River was considered toxic beyond redemption a decade ago. Meghalaya’s pollution control board in its report blamed drainage from ‘acid mines’ drainage and ‘rat-hole coal mines’ as the reason for toxicity in the river. 

Read More: What is Rat Hole Mining?

In response, the government used the Phycoremediation method to detoxify the river.

What is phycoremediation? 

It is a type of bioremediation, can be defined in a broader sense as the use of macroalgae or microalgae for the removal or biotransformation of pollutants. It improves the PH of the water. 

About Lukha river

It drains the southern part of ‘East Jaintia hills’(Meghalaya). It is fed by its major tributary ‘The Lunar River’ and streams from ‘Narpuh reserve forest’.

The river passes into southern Assam’s Barak Valley and ends up in the floodplains of Bangladesh.

What is District Mineral Fund? 

DMFs were instituted under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Amendment Act 2015. 

They are non-profit trusts to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining-related operations. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Detoxing pilot project has brought a river back from dead: Meghalaya” published in “The Hindu” on 12th October 2021. 

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