Shillong: The opposition Congress on Friday went all guns blazing at the state government and the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department over the supply of turbid water in the city for more than two weeks now, while the government asked the citizens to “bear with the department”.

East Shillong MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh brought a bottle filled with turbid water to present before the House to make her point.

Responding to the question raised by Lyngdoh, PHE Minister Renikton L Tongkhar went into an awkward laugh and asked, “I’m not sure when did the honourable member collect the water?”

Lyngdoh retorted that it was today morning. “If we don’t die from Covid, we will surely die from Cholera,” claimed Lyngdoh.

The PHE minister said the department has tested new pipeline of 1000 mm dia and since this pipeline has been laid a long time ago, soil has gathered in the pipeline.

“The department is trying and we can’t leave these pipelines unused,” the minister said, while urging the people to bear with the government.

Lyngdoh then shared another picture of a reservoir after commissioning of the gravity line of 100 mm dia pipeline. The minister replied that due to testing, water has gone into the reservoir and then to individual houses.

“After the testing again, we hope that the water will be more clear,” Tongkhar added.

Lyngdoh shared another picture of  Umkhen reservoir that supplies water to areas like Nongthymmai but was washed away in the storm last year and is currently non-functioning. The minister assured that the project will be taken up shortly.

Opposition chief whip PT Sawkmie also inquired about the completion of the third phase of Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme, to which the minister replied that the department has asked contractors to start the work and that they are expecting the work to begin within this working season.

West Shillong MLA Mohendro Rapsang also lamented that the water supply in the city has been stopped after muddy water was supplied for over two weeks. The minister said water supply was temporarily stopped because of turbid water.

Also read: COVID-19 may infect a higher proportion of pregnant women: ICMR study

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