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Meghalaya to seek Mizo expertise on rainwater harvesting

Written by: Staff

Shillong, Mar 29 (UNI) Even with Cherrapunjee receiving the highest rainfall in the world, Meghalaya is reeling under acute shortage of potable water prompting the government to now focus its attention on rainwater harvesting.

''My department is contemplating sending officers to Mizoram to study successful implementation of rain water harvesting in that state,'' minister in-charge public health engineering (PHE) said in the Assembly yesterday.

The minister also informed about various measures initiated by his department, including the constitution of a 'Quick Response Team' comprising engineers and magistrates to monitor the supply of drinking water in the city. ''The government will make all efforts to improve the supply of water in Shillong,'' Lyngdoh assured the Assembly.

Earlier, taking part in a discussion on a resolution tabled in the House by Opposition member Manas Chaudhuri on drinking water scarcity in Greater Shillong area, the members urged the government to streamline functioning of all departments concerned to ensure regular and steady supply of water to the people. Chaudhuri called for closer coordination among the various departments and suggested constitution of a single body to regulate the supply of water in Shillong.

''It is a pity to watch school children sacrificing their study-time to manually fetch water from taps by the street even in the 21st century!'' legislator RG Lyngdoh rued. He drew the attention of the House to the fact that unabated quarrying of stones has led to gradual choking of the perennial streams, which have been a major source of water in hilly terrain.

Calling for greater involvement of the local administrative bodies in water management, legislator PM Syiem suggested engaging expert consultants to solve the problem of potable water in various localities here. He also emphasized on preserving forest cover in the catchment areas.

Legislator Paul Lyngdoh said the increase in population in Shillong had mounted pressure on the existing civic infrastructure even as he pointed out that the Municipal Board lacked the technical expertise to meet the challenge of providing potable water to all.


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