Shillong, May 05 : Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Saturday inspected the Um Jasai catchment area in Shillong accompanied by officials from PHE, Urban Affairs departments and Meghalaya Basin Development Authority.

The ongoing dry spell in the State has led to tremendous water shortage across the State. His visit to the catchment area comes after a series of meetings chaired by the Chief Minister to understand the water crisis in the State.

Though Meghalaya receives highest rainfall, the onset of dry season affected Shillong city and other towns. Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said, “In the last one year, a number of interventions have been taken by the Government to rejuvenate the streams, springs and rivers”.

He said that to ensure potable water, various projects are ongoing in the State.

Apart from big infrastructure projects to provide water, the government has also prioritized protection and conservation of catchment areas. “We should rejuvenate different water bodies in the State and store the water as far as possible, using different interventions like rain water harvesting, recharging of ground water tables, etc”, he said.

This morning the Chief Minister undertook a trek of about 1 hour to reach the Um Jasai water intake source. “Water intake is very low in different streams across the State. The government has done surveys and studies and has initiated measures to rejuvenate and improve the overall situation”, he added.

He also informed that a number of check dams are being constructed in strategic locations of the State to store water. “The government has also initiated mitigation measures to improve the overall situation. We are going through challenging times, but with our interventions, we should be able to improve the overall situation in the coming years,” he added.

He also took the opportunity to urge the citizens to take upon themselves responsibility to conserve water at their household level. He also assured that the government will not allow any mining activities around the catchment areas, so that the water bodies can be protected.