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Meghalaya govt mulls acquiring land near catchment areas to preserve water sources

Despite the abundant rainfall Meghalaya received, the minister said that he is shocked to note that water cannot penetrate into the soil rather it just flows away to the lower altitude area. 

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Shillong: Voicing concerns on the rise of water sources drying up, Meghalaya Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister, Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar on Friday mooted the idea of the government acquiring land near catchment areas in order to preserve the water sources. 

“Land near the catchment areas needs to be acquired by the government in order to preserve the water sources and to protect it from other forms of human activities which might pose a big threat to the survival of these water sources,” Tongkhar underscored during the course of his address at the North East Water Conclave held here. 

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Despite the abundant rainfall Meghalaya received, the minister said that he is shocked to note that water cannot penetrate into the soil rather it just flows away to the lower altitude area. 

Therefore, Tongkhar underscored the need for an in-depth study to find ways and means as to how  to contain the rain water which the Meghalaya is blessed with. 

Tongkhar also revealed that many government schemes needs to be shifted from one source to the other and this creates a lot of delay and inconvenience to the public at large. 

Raising concerns on the drying up of check dams and rivers, the minister urged the gathering to seriously delve into this matter through the conclave because it is the need of the hour to find the reasons as to why this is happening. 

He urged all the stakeholders to work together to ensure that the problems can be tackled and  solved at the right time.

Noting that Meghalaya is bless to receive water free of cost, the minister however said that people tend to abuse water uses by using it excessively.

He urged the people to save water at every opportunity and to develop a habit of being a water cultivator and to understand the value of water.

Other speakers who spoke included Dr S C Sadhu, Secretary Water Resource Department, Meghalaya, Aankur Patni, Executive Director, Ion Exchange India Ltd, Sourav Daspatnaik, 

Managing Director, Swachh Environment Private Limited among others.

The inaugural function was followed by Plenary Sessions where speakers dwelt at length on the topics: Upgradation of water & waste water infrastructure and Leakages in water conveyance lines and storage. 

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