Imphal: Single-use plastic bottles is a major factor blocking river water flow, leading to floods in Manipur valley areas, said development officer of Environment and Climate Change department, Thaonaojam Alexander on Thursday.

People should stop the habit of dumping waste materials, especially used plastic bottles at river banks.

Despite the ban on single-use plastic and plastic water bottles less than 1 liter, huge amounts of used single-use plastic bottles and other plastic waste items were found in rivers.

Huge amount of used plastic bottles and other plastic items were found obstructing the flow of Imphal river at Salanthong, Imphal East.

Following incessant rainfall since July 1 in the state Manipur, the water level of most major rivers flowing through Imphal valley has been rising above the high flood level. In the previous flood caused by the impact of Cyclone Remal, a huge number of used plastic bottles and other plastic waste items were found blocking water flow in rivers, mostly in Nambul river.

Nambul river passes through the heart of Imphal city and is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the state. It passes through the congested Khwairamband Market area where most waste is found disposed of on its river bank.

The river, after meeting passing through Naga river, continues its course towards Loktak Lake.

With the flood occurring in the state due to the impact of southwest monsoon rain many major rivers including Nambul, Imphal, and Iril have been overflowed and breached their banks. Many houses have been inundated in different parts of Imphal East and West.

The government has been raising awareness among the public to avoid disposing of waste at river banks, but many still avoid the advice. The tons of used plastic blocking the flow of Imphal river at Salanthong is an example that people need more awareness, Alexander opined.

He appeals to people to develop the habit of disposing of waste in proper places to keep the surroundings clean.

The department had cleaned up around 30 truckloads of used plastic bottles from Nambul river stretch during the Cyclone Remal flood. This might be the reason less overflow along Nambul river is reported in the present flood, he added.

The department is cleaning up and collecting the used water bottles and other plastic items that are stuck along the river course, he said.

Alexander said the department will continue surveying along the Imphal river stretch to remove other pollutants that could disturb water flow. A similar survey will also be conducted at Iril river, he added.

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