The Jhora of Sikkim

By: Staff Reporter

The Urban Development and Housing Department, Govt. of Sikkim, under the Sikkim Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act proactively announced in 1997 that “no one is allowed to throw bio-degradable or non-biodegradable garbage in any public place or in any drain ventilation shaft pipe and fitting connected with the private or public drainage except in appropriate garbage receptacles. Any one violating this is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be extended to six months or with a fine up to Rs 5, 000 or both”. But the contradiction is visible. Sikkim having a very high water table, abounds with many gushing streams, locally identified as jhora. In and around Gangtok, the jhora are marked with bold signage that garbage disposal in such locations is a punishable offense but the reality is quite opposed. And this is only about solid waste disposal—the overflowing sewerage and the stench of the dirty water calls for a third party assessment to derive the level of the pollution in the groundwater of Gangtok region.

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