All construction activities around the Umiam Lake will halt till the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) come up with a more detailed report on whether it would be permissible to allow their completion.
The Meghalaya High Court passed the order after a KHADC report disclosed that findings of the joint inspection, conducted with the MSPCB on September 5-6, found seven establishments had constructed buildings within 300 m of the highest flood level (HFL) of the lake.
The court stated “No future construction in or around the Umiam Lake, at least within 1000m from the HFL, will be allowed before strict norms for such construction and treatment of effluence are put in place, after leaving a no-construction buffer zone of about 500m from the HFL, by the appropriate authorities.”
These buildings, including proposed guest houses and restaurants, are under construction and have not yet been completed.
According to the KHADC report, local authorities permitted the construction and PCB. But there was no law on the extent of the construction activity, its nature, or regulation in such regard.
“Strict conditions imposed to ensure that the cleanliness of the water below or the aesthetics of the surroundings is not adversely affected,” the bench said.
The next hearing is to take place on November 15.