SHILLONG, March 12 � Despite having the wettest place on the planet, Meghalaya�s groundwater level is hitting rock bottom and the State is mooting a water policy to tackle the issue.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma termed the matter as �serious� in the Assembly on Friday and said that a comprehensive water policy would be framed to conserve this important natural resource.
�The depletion of groundwater table in the State is a serious matter and it needs to be addressed seriously for sustainability of our water resources,� he told the Assembly, replying to a motion on the need to have a �Water Policy� in the State.
Acknowledging that Meghalaya has the proud privilege of receiving the heaviest rainfall in the world (Sohra), he said several places in the State are still facing acute water shortage.
In fact, Sohra or Cherrapunjee has the distinction of being dubbed the �wettest desert on earth� due to acute drinking water shortage in the winters as water harvesting methods are least practised there.
In 2009, Meghalaya created a separate water resource department. Sangma said the department was created to ensure drinking water security, agriculture production, food security, ecological balance and overall sustainable development.
The Chief Minster said the government is also in the process of promoting a Water Resources Development Agency so that the resource could be properly managed. He said the IT department would also be roped in to provide its expertise and an effective campaign would be carried out for water management in the State.
Earlier, United Democratic Party legislator, Ardent M Basaiawmoit, raising the motion said it was a matter of serious concern that many people do not have access to potable drinking water.