Shillong: The Meghalaya Assembly on Wednesday voiced serious concern over water scarcity, even as Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that safe drinking water would be a major issue across the state due to climate change.
“There is a huge impact of climate change and human activity is also adding to it. No matter what projects we take up, climate change is moving faster than what we can act,” the Chief Minister informed, intervening during the Question Hour in the Assembly.
“This acute crisis came up at that time and rainfall in the past few months is not like previous years. We will see more problems and that’ is why it is important to protect catchment areas in every village and town,” he underscored.
However, efforts are on to try and rejuvenate the catchment areas with externally aided projects, he said.
Referring to some of the projects, the Chief Minister said that around three to five externally aided projects are in the pipeline and are directed at rejuvenation of the catchment areas in the state. Some of these projects are being funded by the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Under some of these projects, creation of check dams and reservoirs, rain water harvesting, rejuvenation of ground water table and springs would be undertaken, Conrad informed the House.
Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Mukul Sangma acknowledging the impact of climate change said the Government must try to identify alternative sources for providing safe drinking water to the residents of Tura town.
Earlier, Congress legislator Zenith Sangma said the government must take steps to stop leakage of drinking water.
He informed that people in Tura were forced to buy water at exorbitant prices due to the scarcity.
Public Health Engineering Minister, Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar admitted the water scarcity and termed it as a “matter of concern” and said there were several factors, apart from climate change, contributing to the water scarcity and one of them being leakages, even as he called for extensive harvesting of the abundant rain water that the State receives.