Meghalaya first state to draft water policy

SHILLONG: Meghalaya has become the first state in the country to have drafted  the state water policy 2019 after the State Cabinet approved the policy following detailed discussions and deliberations.

Talking to media persons after the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong said that the policy would be notified soon by the government.

Talking about the objective of the policy, Tynsong said that the policy intended to achieve sustainable development, management and use of water resources with community participation to improve health and livelihood and reduce vulnerability while assuring of good governance for  present and future generations through integrated water resources management  and environment sustainability.

Reacting to a query about the protection of water catchment areas, he said that issues such as protection of catchment areas and river pollution has been outlined in the policy even as he informed that the policy gives importance to community participation in carrying forward the policy since the land in Meghalaya belongs to the  people and the clan.

“Community participation will be fully honoured as we want to go down to village level with the policy,” he said

Tynsong further informed that water sanitation village committees would also be formed in the pattern of village employment council, adding the policy will go a long way in changing the mindset  of the  as far as proper utilisation of water was concern.

Asserting that there are even disputes in India and abroad over the issue of water, he added that the issue of ground water also features in the policy since it needs to be controlled.

 Once the policy is in place, the Government would have a data about the number of flowing rivers and springs and even issues of ground water will be addressed.

As Meghalaya is a hilly state, the rain water reaches from the state reaches Bangladesh within an hour and the in the policy, the water resources department has given much importance on the need to construct check dams depending on the detailed research to be done by experts

“When we create check dams, we want to see that each check dam becomes multi-purpose reservoir for the for the benefit of the people.

The department has also taken care of acidic water and high content of iron in water in the policy

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