Meghalaya: CM Sangma admits to water scarcity problem in Tura
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday admitted to the problem of water scarcity in Tura in West Garo Hills and attributed climate change and human activities as the contributing factors.
Supplementing the reply given by PHE minister Renikton L Tongkhar to a query raised by Rangsakona MLA Zenith Sangma on the fourth day of the autumn session, CM Sangma said, "Compared to the last few years, the quantity of water in the source at Tura has gone down drastically due to climate change and human activities".
"This is a concern of the entire state to protect our catchment areas because the dynamics are changing faster than we anticipated," he said.
In his reply, the PHE Minister denied the prevalence of acute water scarcity in Tura but said, "At times scarcity may occur due to reduction of discharge of water sources of Tura Phase 1 & III Water Supply Scheme during the lean season and inability of Tura Phase II Water Supply Scheme to generate the required quantity of water".
Tongkhar informed that the residents are charged different rates for buying water. These include -- tank capacity of 10,000 Ltrs. at Rs 3,000, tank capacity of 6,000 Ltrs. at Rs 2,000 and capacity of 1,500 Ltrs. at Rs 800 within Tura town.
To address this problem, he said the Public Health Engineering Department is sending a proposal to construct ten additional reservoirs at different locations of Tura at an amount of Rs 14.37 crores.
Gambegre MLA Saleng Sangma also stood up and draw the attention of the house to the urgent need to come up with a master plan to address this issue.
"We talk about protecting the water table but we are seeing trees being cut and rampant illegal smuggling of logs," he said.
Meanwhile, CM Sangma mentioned that a huge project to the tune of approximately Rs 500 crores has been cleared to construct reservoirs, create spring sheds, protection of catchment areas, etc across the state.
"Protection of catchment areas is essential for water management. Recharging of groundwater and protection of the springs is the key to fighting the problem of water scarcity," he said, adding that community participation is important as more changes in the climate will be witnessed in the near future.
He further added that major problems are foreseen in the months and years to come in Tura, but at the same time, maintained that the government is taking necessary steps to preserve the catchment areas and construct new reservoirs.
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