Implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in many parts of Meghalaya is facing hurdles due to drying up of water sources in the northeastern state, Public Health Engineering Minister Marcuise N Marak said on Sunday.
Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide potable water at every doorstep in the country by 2024.
“I have received reports that there are Jal Jeevan Mission projects that are already completed by the department but because of drying up of the water sources, there is no water at intake points,” the minister told PTI.
Protection and potential retention of water catchment areas, projects for improving water conservation, and construction of check dams for maintaining water table levels are some of the measures which can help tackle the problem, the minister said.
Temperatures have risen by about six degrees Celsius in most areas in the plains while there has been a deviation of about three to four degrees Celsius in the higher altitudes affecting normal life.
Marak said the State government has taken steps to improve water conservation through projects funded by the Asian Development Bank.
“We are trying to construct check dams and reservoirs so that we can maintain the water table levels,” he stated.
The minister also said the problem of water shortage has surfaced across the state due to breakdowns and shutdowns of supply lines.
The department, he said, is trying to solve the issues at the earliest.
The minister expressed optimism that the water crisis will lessen with the onset of monsoon.
Urging citizens to take up rainwater harvesting individually, the minister said “People constructing a house should invest in a rainwater harvesting unit. This will be very beneficial for the family and I appeal to each one to try to be part of the solution”.
A senior PHE official told PTI, Meghalaya has been able to provide tap water connections to over 2.82 lakh households (44.45 percent) as of January 2023, compared to 4,550 households (0.72 percent earlier).
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed the Assembly in the last budget session that the Central government has assured the state of allocating Rs 3,700 crore in 2023-24 for the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in Meghalaya. PTI
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