The Forest and Environment Department is in the process of identifying catchment areas that have been seriously degraded, minister James K Sangma informed today.
“People are very aware that most of the catchment areas that are feeding our rivers are seriously degraded and it is very important that we start acting on this,” he said.
The minister told reporters that he has instructed his department to come up with a comprehensive plan to tackle the matter.
“This comprehensive plan involves not just identification of the land but also identifying the owners in terms of what is the kind of ownership, whether the land belongs to the community or to individuals, the level of degradation that has taken place and also to come up with an action plan in terms of how we can stop this degradation and deforestation taking place and arrest soil erosion,” Sangma said.
He also said that the rejuvenation of the Wahumkhrah, which flows through Shillong, is going to be a very challenging task because it requires inter-departmental coordination between the Environment, Urban Affairs, Soil and Water Conservation and Water Resources Departments.
“That kind of synergy and cooperation is required and we are on the job. We hope that eventually in the future we will reverse this degradation that is taking place,” Sangma said.