State to sign WB pact to save catchment areas


TURA: The MDA government will soon sign an agreement with the World Bank for funding to the tune of over a hundred crores for protecting and preserving the catchment areas in the state in the face of global warming.
Speaking as the chief guest on ‘Natural Resources Management and Climate Change-Opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs in Garo Hills’ at Dikki Bandi Stadium in Tura on Saturday afternoon, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma mentioned about his government’s plan to protect the water sources.
“Climate change is a fact. It is happening. Its impact is being felt across the globe and in India because of wanton destruction of forests, burning of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum leading to rise in CO2 emissions,” said the chief minister as he mentioned about moves being made by each country and state to reduce the carbon footprint.
Raising concern over the fast depleting water bodies and rising temperature in Meghalaya, Sangma said, “We will be signing a new agreement with the World Bank for funding to the tune of over Rs 100 crore that will be used for protection and preservation of the catchment areas with active support from Nokmas and the public. This agreement will be signed within a month and will be incorporated in the 2018-19 scheme for the state.”
Each family will be encouraged to plant a sapling and nurture it under the ‘My Life! My Tree’ campaign. However, Sangma said the battle against global warming needed to be taken beyond the protection of catchment areas and planting of trees.
“Awareness is one of the most important aspects and needs to start at the infant stage. That is why the time has come to put forth in the school curriculum of children the importance of responsibility for preserving our mother earth,” he suggested.
The new government will also “lay utmost emphasis on non-conventional renewable energy to reduce carbon footprint” and replace age-old incandescent bulbs with energy saving LED lamps. “We seriously need to reduce our dependence on energy consuming gadgets. The central government is already giving out LED bulbs at a very low pricing and the state will need to ensure it is available in every village and town,” said Sangma.
Earlier in the day, village employment councils from the length and breadth of West Garo Hills took part in the climate change programme where speakers highlighted the importance of creating assets in harmony with nature.