Mawphlang, Meghalaya, Oct 22 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today said water has become a scarce resource, more so in the urban centres.
''It is an important requirement for any city and an integral part of urban development plan as water and sanitation go hand in hand,'' the President said after laying the foundation stone of the Rs 193.47 crore Greater Shillong Water Supply (Phase III) project here in Meghalaya.
The Phase III of the Project, funded by Union ministry of urban affairs under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, envisages creation of additional infrastructure for generation and treatment of water to meet the shortfall in the city, which is growing rapidly in terms of population, is expected to be commissioned by 2011-12.
''I am happy that this project, once completed, will benefit citizens in the outlying areas of the Shillong urban agglomeration and will also improve water supply in the whole municipal area of Shillong,'' Mrs Patil said.
She added that citizens must have a duty to use water judiciously as it is a precious resource and rain water harvesting should be adopted extensively.
''Today, one of the hallmarks of modern cities is the availability of a clean and reliable water supply system for its inhabitants,'' she said.
Stressing the need to follow systematic urban planning and proper urban governance, the President said haphazard urban planning and lack of planned civic amenities deprives towns of its original character.
''It is important to follow systematic urban planning and proper urban governance. Every citizen should have access to basic services and livable habitats and this is the challenge which the policy makers must invariably address,'' Mrs Patil asserted.
Underscoring that cities must work towards poverty eradication, the President said special programmes for the weaker and disadvantaged sections of society must be implemented in a time bound manner.
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