Social organisations working for the conservation of nature on Sunday urged local bodies, including the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC), to take initiatives for reducing pollution in the Mahananda and some rivulets which flow through the city.
“As social organisations, we can only underscore the problem. It is the local bodies that need to implement waste management programmes in a proper manner to stop the pollution of rivers and other water bodies. They should also take steps to prevent the use of materials like plastic carry bags to check pollution,” Naba Dutta, a representative of Sabuj Mancha, said while speaking on the sidelines of a seminar.
The Himalayan Nature & Adventure Foundation (HNAF), which is based in Siliguri, organised a seminar on “Critical Situations of Environment in North Bengal and Its Solution” on Sunday.
Sabuj Mancha is a common forum of over 100 organisations across the state.
Dutta said some rivers, including the Mahananda here, had become dumping yards.
According to him, 351 rivers across the country have been identified as polluted. Among them, 17 are in Bengal.
“In 2018, the Vidyadhari and the Mahananda were identified by the Central Pollution Control Board as the two most polluted rivers in the country. It is high time that steps are taken to check the pollution on these two rivers,” he added.
The board, sources said, has come up with a set of guidelines to prevent the pollution of rivers.
Siliguri mayor Gautam Deb, who attended the seminar, elaborated on the initiatives taken by the SMC.
“Along with the Mahananda, we are also taking steps to rejuvenate the Fuleswari, Jorapani and the Panchanoi, three rivulets which flow through Siliguri. We have been running the civic body for the past 15 months and are taking all efforts to check the pollution of water bodies. It is an uphill task and will take time,” said Deb.