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Meghalaya becomes first state to have water policy

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Shillong, July 13: The Meghalaya cabinet became the first state to approve a draft water policy to address water issues, conservation, and protection of water sources in the state.

The state Cabinet on Friday evening approved the draft water policy after an elaborate presentation and detailed discussion at a meeting chaired by chief minister Conrad K Sangma.

File photo of Meghalaya Aseembly

Prestone Tynsong, Deputy Chief Minister, said, "The policy intends to achieve sustainable development, management and use of water resources with community participation. This will improve health and livelihood and reduce vulnerability among the people. This will also assure of good governance for present and future generations through integrated water resources management and environmental sustainability."

"Issues such as the protection of catchment areas and river pollution have also been outlined in the policy. Community participation is what we are looking for in as we want to reach to the villages with this policy," he said

Tynsong also said that the committees will be formed at village level and the issue of groundwater will also be catered through this policy. Also, the department will also monitor the quality of the water to check if it has a high content of iron or if it's acidic.

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"Meghalaya is the first state in the country to have in place a state water policy. The policy was prepared in consultation with the stakeholders and that it would be formally notified shortly," Tynsong said.

It also aims at ensuring protection and conservation of catchment areas of all water sources to prevent degradation of the quantity and quality of water sources and promote principle of 3Rs - reduce, recycle and reuse, besides enhance resilience to disasters and the impacts of climate change.

The government will soon notify about the policy.

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