Shillong July 12: A draft state water policy which aimed at protecting water sources and other water bodies was approved by the State Cabinet on Friday.
Besides the water policy, a proposal of the finance department to increase the salary of chairman and members of the Meghalaya Public Service Commission based on the recommendations of the fifth Meghalaya Pay Commission was also approved.
The draft water policy was approved after a detailed presentation and long discussion in the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister, Conrad K. Sangma on Friday.
Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong told reporters that Meghalaya became the first state in India to have a water policy and the draft policy was prepared by officers of the state water resources department along with water experts who held a series of consultations before bringing the matter to the cabinet.
“All issues related to utilization of water and livelihood and how to preserve water bodies have been outlined in this policy including community participation in the implementation of this policy by constituting a water sanitation village council at the village level,” Tynsong said.
On acute shortage of water in Meghalaya despite receiving huge amount of rainfall, Tynsong said, “Meghalaya, being a hill state, though we received huge amount of rainfall, but all our water reached Bangladesh within one hour.”
The deputy chief minister therefore stressed the need to properly use and conserve water, and take steps to preserve various water bodies and water sources including ground water by also focusing on the problem related to water pollution and protection catchment and spring shed areas.
Tynsong said that the policy also stressed the need to construct check dams water reservoirs on rivers and streams in the village and how to make each check dam useful for the people with multipurpose activities.