SHILLONG, July 13 - The Meghalaya Cabinet adopted a draft Water Policy in the State, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said after a meeting of the Cabinet here on Friday.
This is the first time that a State in India has attempted to have a Water Policy. Its objective is to “achieve sustainable development, management and use of Meghalaya’s water resources with community participation…”, he stated.
Tynsong said all issues related to utilisation of water and livelihood and preservation of water bodies have been outlined in the policy. “The policy envisages community participation in implementation of this policy by constituting a Water Sanitation Council at the village level,” Tynsong informed.
The draft policy was formulated after brainstorming by officials of the Water Resource department and experts. One of the issues to be addressed by the policy in the wake of rapid urbanisation is to regulate and manage ground water.
Moreover, the issue of treatment and reuse of water would also be given a priority in the policy. Keeping in view the concern of climate change and extreme rainfall pattern, the State is gearing up for harvesting of water, revival of springs and water bodies through the policy.
“A system would be evolved for water budgeting at the village level periodically…Industries would be allowed to withdraw only the required quantity of water with the approval of the Authority and would have an obligation to return used water after treatment,” the draft policy outlined.
Moreover, appropriate laws would be enacted to stop pollution of both ground and surface water. Management of drought and flood, water quality, water tariff and other issues would be incorporated.
“The Meghalaya State Water Resources Council would review the existing Acts and Regulations related to water sector and align them to effectively implement this policy and will evolve a State Water Act,” the draft policy outlined.