Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar has assured Highland Post that work on some water projects has resumed while others will resume very soon.
Speaking recently, Tongkhar said that water supply was always exempted from any restrictions placed due to the Covid-19 pandemic as it is essential and the PHE Department has also given direction to all contractors to resume their work.
He informed that the distribution work of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme has also been resumed after the revised estimate of Rs 65 crores for the scheme was sanctioned.
With regards to the central government’s Jal Jeevan Mission, Tongkhar said that more than 20 percent of the target has been achieved.
When asked about the water problem in the urban areas like Laitumkhrah, Nongthymmai, etc, whose source is from River Umkhen, the minister said that he has discussed the matters with the engineers and they have prepared an estimate because the entire pipelines need complete replacement.
Meanwhile with regards to the tied scheme funds from the 15th Finance Commission Tongkhar, said that it will be decided collectively in the cabinet.
“I have discussed the matter with the Chief Minister and this matter will be studied and taken up collectively in the cabinet,” he informed. “If the fund released is for drinking water supply, then it’s the PHE’s right to implement the scheme but if the fund is not for drinking water only but some other purpose then there is no harm if the KHADC (Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council) implements the scheme,” he said.
He maintained that when it comes to drinking water supply, the department cannot take any risk to let other institutions implement the scheme.