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Conrad seeks Centre’s help in rejuvenating critical rivers

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Shillong, Feb 9: The state government has sought the Centre’s support in rejuvenating some of the important rivers and streams in the state.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the two-day International Water Conclave on Friday, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma drew the attention of Secretary of Ministry of Jal Shakti Debashree Mukherjee to two major rivers in Shillong – Wah Umshyrpi and Wah Umkhrah – stating that they need special attention.
The CM said he has been in constant touch with the ministry on the issue. He said he had taken up the matter with Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat who extended full support to the state government.
“He asked us to relook at the entire proposal which we are doing. Hopefully, in about a couple of months’ time, we should be going back to you (ministry) to ask you to support us in  rejuvenating some of the more critical rivers and streams in Shillong as well as in other parts of the state,” Sangma said.
Meanwhile, he said the state has a huge problem with water connectivity in Shillong. He said most of the water connections in the city have been there for the last 20 years and even 40 to 45 years.
The CM said the network – pipes and entire infrastructure – needs to be revamped. He said this entails a huge financial burden.
Sangma said the state also has issues because of multiple other factors in terms of different activities related to mining and other economic activities.
He said the government is working in a manner to strike a balance between the economic livelihood of people as well as the sustainability of the environment and the streams and the rivers.
Sangma stressed on using information technology data, data analytics and predictive models for better management of water.
“We are working very closely with NESAC (North Eastern Space Applications Centre) which is the space agency here. They are monitoring our springs, reservoirs, forest cover and agricultural and mining activities. We’ll be coming up with something called the Data Innovation Center in Meghalaya. And the idea of this data information center is to be able to collect these data and information departmentally, superimpose them on different departmental information and be able to create a predictability model,” he said.

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