Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today said that the State receives 63 billion cubic litres of water annually through rainfall, which is very high, however, the State is able to retain only 1 billion cubic litre of water.
“Meghalaya is one of the wettest place on earth. We receive about 63 billion cubic litres of water annually, of which 31 billion cubic litres flow to Bangladesh and 31 billion cubic litres flows to Assam,” he said, while launching the Meghalaya Water Smart Kid campaign, an initiative under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to create awareness about water conservation amongst the children.
He said that to address the issue of water conservation and sustainability, the State Government has taken various interventions, which are supported by externally aided projects (EAPs) and the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
He informed that 1000 water reservoirs are being constructed across the State, so as to harness the water and increase the ground water table through different soil rejuvenation projects. “We are making concerted efforts to harness water as it is imperative to ensure sustainability and rejuvenation of our water sources”, he added.
He informed that the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department has received huge funding under JJM and EAPs, which is close to around 8000 crore. “We have a challenge ahead of us but our officials have been working tirelessly to achieve the targets in ensuring that water is made available to every household in the State”, he said.
He informed that under JJM, the State has been awarded as “best performer” by the Ministry of Jal Shakti with additional incentives sanctioned. He said that the State has completed over 4 lakh household fixed water connections and by March 2024, the target of 6 lakh will be completed.
“In 2019, media and other stakeholder ridiculed the Government for poor coverage under JJM, however, we took it as a challenge and ensured that from 45,000 household connection, we managed to increase it to 4 lakh plus household”, he said, while informing on challenges associated with terrain for laying of pipe connection, to identifying water sources and creation of reservoirs.
Chief Minister and PHE Minister Marcuise Marak handed over the award to Water Guardians for inspiring efforts in conservation of water bodies. The awards were given to Lumshyiap Village and Water Sanitation Community of Ri Bhoi District, Darechikgre Village and Water Sanitation Community of West Garo Hills District and Dura Kantragre Village and Water Sanitation Community of West Garo Hills District.
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