Unsanitary Woes Engulf Yamuna River

The sickening prevalence of peopl excreting blatantly on the bank of the river Yamuna, the lifeline of Howraghat town in eastern Karbi Anglong, has infuriated the feelings of the town dwellers.

On enquiry it was found that a majority people living in ward numbers five and six indulge in excreting openly on the river bed. As well as this, scores of unsanitary, polluted and germ-infested toilets with no safety tank are polluting the water of this river. They allow direct inflow of human excreta into the river water because the latrine pipes flow directly into the Yamuna watercourse.

This river which is linked with major rivers of Assam has not only irrigated the whole area but was the main trade route before independence. Thousands of people from across the undivided India settled in this town which after 1950 was seceded to Karbi Anglong district from the mainland Assam.

Yamuna, the only perennial river of Howraghat and Bakulia plains in this hilly district, has become a garbage dumping location for a section of inhabitants of this town. That has posed a major threat to the people who obtain water for consumption from this river. The people and domestic animals who depend on Yamuna water are also facing this threat.

It was stomach-churning sight to see the flow of noxious filth contaminating the unpolluted waterway near wards five and six close to the bathing place near the auspicious temple of Lord Jagannath. This is the place that hundreds of devotees collect holy water for religious purpose and it is also utilized for immersion of deities after Durag and Kali Puja.

Outlandishly along with the slapdash residents of the locality the self-important Howraghat town committee who never ceases from making toll claims have turned a blind eye to this hellish sticky situation.

What was most surprising is the fact that Khorsing Engti, Hill Areas Development Minister of Gogoi cabinet resides within a very short distance of this active hell, whose Chief Minister has recently launched a cleanness drive for a hygienic Assam.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.