Meghalaya to geotag catchment areas for water resource protection

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Recognizing the crucial role of healthy catchment areas in sustaining its water resources, the Meghalaya government has announced a groundbreaking initiative – the geotagging of all catchment areas across the state. This move aims to combat the growing threats to rivers and water sources, which have been negatively impacted by factors like mining, urbanization, and unsustainable practices.

“We are geotagging all catchment areas to understand their exact location and extent, allowing us to identify vulnerabilities and formulate effective protection strategies,” declared Marcuise N Marak, the minister in-charge of Public Health Engineering (PHE). He emphasized the urgency of safeguarding the state’s water security, highlighting the adverse effects faced by several rivers due to various human activities.

The ambitious project involves collaboration between multiple departments, including PHE, Forest and Environment, Water Resources, and Soil and Water Conservation. A comprehensive plan of action will be determined through discussions and a dedicated one-day conference in Shillong, inviting water experts from both within and outside Meghalaya.

The conference, to be chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, aims to leverage the expertise of various stakeholders in devising targeted interventions for catchment area protection. The PHE minister further acknowledged the need for addressing livelihood concerns of communities residing near these areas, particularly those involved in mining activities. He mentioned his ongoing research exploring alternative livelihood options, which will be discussed with the Chief Minister for potential implementation.

Marak further said that the water resources minister, Comingone Ymbon, recently inspected the Umkhen river’s catchment area due to ongoing stone quarrying activities. This quarrying has been causing disruptions to the water source, affecting the water supply to thousands of households in Madanrting and other areas of Shillong.

The Meghalaya government’s proactive approach towards safeguarding its water resources through geotagging and multi-pronged interventions paves the way for a sustainable future.

Pankaj Luitel is a graduate from Manipur University and loves reading and writing. At MountainEcho, Pankaj contributes to the content team efforts and regularly writes for our website

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