Imphal: Manipur government has taken up emergency measures to contain spread of heavy fuel into public water supply ‘following report of presence of heavy fuel in the streams in and around Leimakhong areas of Imphal West district’ .
The incident was widely circulated in social media platform causing panic among the residents of Leimakhong and other parts of Imphal.
On receiving the information, department of Power, Water Resources, Environment,
Relief and Disaster, police teams and District Administration pressed into immediate action with the help of local public in the presence of concerned ministers and MLAs.
Men and machinery were also put into action, and as immediate measure the stream was diverted. The main course of the stream has been blocked at Kantosabal to contain the spread of heavy fuel into the public water supply system and diverted to a nearby dug out field.
The department of Public Health Engineering is working in close coordination with the technical teams from IIT, Guwahati, Manipur University, NIT, Manipur and to assess any contamination to the water from the streams. Preliminary reports of PHED have indicated that there is no damage to the potable water supply system, and the water quality is safe.
Additional water samples are being collected for detailed assessment by IIT Guwahati. An expert team of IIT Guwahati is also visiting Imphal.
In the meantime, in order to ensure supply of potable water to the residents of Leimakhong area, as an interim measure, PHED, Manipur has started providing potable water by diversification of source by boring tubewells, water supply through tanker etc.
A committee is being constituted by the Public Health Engineering Department to monitor and ensure that potable water is available for consumption as well as for domestic use of the public with members from departments of Agriculture, Environment and Climate
Change, Water Resources, Power, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
Further, it is to appeal to all the public that the state government is taking full measures to provide safe drinking water to the public and contain any contamination to the streams around Leimakhong area.
As a precautionary measure, the general public is requested to not use raw water from the stream from Leimakhong to Lamdeng until the water testing report is confirmed. The general public is further requested to extend full cooperation to the government by reporting immediately any signs of affecting aquatic life and animals.
Meanwhile, PHED, Manipur has temporarily closed the water supply schemes located near the streams for providing drinking water and will re-open once the testing result is confirmed. For availing free facility of tankers for potable water in the affected areas, the following Helpline numbers may be contacted: 8794006422/7085922914.
An FIR has been registered and the area is also being sealed completely by deputing adequate security forces. An expert investigation team led by Shri Ashutosh Sinha, ADGP (Int), IPS, Manipur has been constituted to ascertain the cause of the incident. The other members of the team are Shailesh Kumar Chourasia, Commissioner (Power), and M. Pradip Singh, IPS, Addl. Secretary (Home).