Saturday, August 08, 2009

Tsongmo Lale near Gangtok faces threat of pollution

GANGTOK, 7 AUG: The State Pollution Control Board, Sikkim has warned the government against pollution and hazard to aquatic life in the Tsomgo Lake (Internet photograph) because of certain ongoing construction works in areas adjacent to the lake considered holy in the mountain state.
The SPCB conducted a survey of the lake on 23 July following reports of fish deaths. The SPCB, in its report to the state government mentioned that pollution was observed in the lake along with degradation of water quality. “There is an urgent need for corrective measures to check siltation in the lake caused by road excavation. Silt traps and check dams must be set up immediately,” the report states.
The JN Marg, which runs close to the lake and leads to Nathu La, is being widened. The SPCB has suggested plantation of suitable plants in the area and installation of silt monitoring stations to monitor extent of silt load periodically. The body also suggested study of water on a regular interval and monitoring of air quality and testing of vehicular emission at random during peak tourist season at the Tsogmo Lake. Besides being a major tourist attraction, Tsomgo is also a stopover for migratory birds.
The State PHE and Water Security department is considering the Tsomgo Lake as an alternative water supply source for Gangtok and adjoining areas