PHED-SMB communication gap extends water woes

SHILLONG: Lack of coordination between the PHE Department and the Shillong Municipal Board has resulted in delayed action in solving water crisis in several parts of the city.
Residents of Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Riatsamthiah and adjoining areas, besides Laban and Laitumkhrah, are facing shortage of drinking water.
Though the matter was taken up with both the PHED and the Municipal Board, they had shifted their responsibilities to one another.   The media persons on Tuesday apprised the matter to PHE Minister Prestone Tynsong in the presence of senior officials of the department.
Currently, the responsibility of the PHED is to pump the water to zonal reservoirs while distribution of water and repair of pipes are with the Municipal Board, which imposes charges from consumers for use of water.
Tynsong said his department as a single agency is open to taking over the supply of water provided the Municipal Act is amended.
He also said the creation of a separate agency will not solve the current problem.
“In 2009-10, there was a suggestion to have a separate body for supply of water, but that may not solve the problem as formation of a separate entity will ultimately result in a three-tier system as far as dealing with water supply is concerned,” he said.
Hence, he suggested better co-ordination between PHED and the Municipal Board or amendment of the Municipal Act to entrust the matters related to water supply entirely to PHE.
The Minister, however, directed his officials to convene a meeting to address the shortage of water supply in parts of the city.

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