Imphal: Reports circulating on social media platforms have raised alarm as oil-like substances were spotted floating on the Iril River, near the upstream of Dolaithabi Dam. L. Susindro Meitei, the Minister of PHE and CAF & PD, along with officials from DC, Imphal East, and SP, Imphal East, swiftly responded to the information and conducted an on-site inspection.
Officials from the Public Health Engineering Department and Directorate of Environment & Climate Change have collected water samples from various locations. These samples have been dispatched to respective laboratories for thorough testing. Preliminary results indicate that all parameters required for sample testing fall within permissible limits for untreated water. However, should the need arise, the samples will undergo further examination in advanced laboratories.
While urging residents in the vicinity to remain vigilant, authorities appeal for prompt reporting of any suspicious incidents. The government emphasises the commitment to ensuring the safety of the environment and the well-being of the communities along the Iril River. Further updates will be provided as the investigation progresses.
Earlier on January 11 Manipur’s Leimakhong power station was in the throes of a suspected act of sabotage and foul play. Officials of the Manipur State Power Company Limited (MSPCL) lodged a written complaint detailing not just theft and burglary but a deliberate and calculated act of sabotage at the Heavy Fuel Based Power Plant (HEBPP) and Hydro Power Plant House in Leimakhong.
The ramifications of this act extend far beyond property damage, as the malefactors instigated the spillage of heavy oil, creating a relentless flow of pollutants into nearby rivers. The gravity of the situation is underscored by Manipur police, who suspect intentional malfeasance in this environmental crisis.
In a concerning turn of events, Manipur’s Leimakhong area is grappling with the aftermath of a suspected act of foul play and sabotage at the defunct Leimakhong power station. On January 11, 2024, officials of the Manipur State Power Company Limited (MSPCL) reported incidents of theft and burglary at the Heavy Fuel Based Power Plant (HEBPP) and Hydro Power Plant House in Leimakhong. The perpetrators not only caused property damage but also triggered the spillage of heavy oil, resulting in the continuous release of oil into the nearby river.
A Zero FIR has been registered at the Sekmai police station, and security forces are actively working to identify and apprehend the accused individuals. The affected area has been sealed off, and additional security forces have been deployed to safeguard the power plant, as announced by the Chief Minister’s Office on January 12.
Responding promptly to the environmental crisis, the Manipur government has formed a three-member committee to investigate the oil spill originating from the Fuel Power Station at Leimakhong. Chaired by Ashutosh Kumar Sinha, IPS, ADGP Int Manipur, the committee includes Dr Shailesh Kumar Chaurasia, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Power), GoM, and M. Pradip Singh, IPS, Additional Secretary (Home), Government of Manipur. The investigation report of the committee has not been made public by the state government yet.