Water sources drying up in Meghalaya, Jal Jeevan Mission hits roadblock: Minister
Public Health Engineering (PHE) minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar

Shillong: The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aimed at providing functional household tap connection to nearly 6 lakh rural homes in Meghalaya has hit roadblocks as several water sources have dried up, state Public Health Engineering Minister Renikton Tongkhar said on Friday.

The situation has compelled the department to find alternative water sources requiring additional investment, the minister said.

Though there has been enough rainfall in Meghalaya this year, the PHE minister said groundwater is depleting resulting in the drying up of water sources.

“We have had good rainfall this year. I wonder if the rainwater flowed straight to Bangladesh or if there are other issues resulting in the phenomenon here,” Tongkhar told PTI at the sideline of a programme here.

According to the PHE minister, the department has covered about 40 per cent of the total projected beneficiaries of about 5.9 lakh rural households.

The Centre has allotted Rs 678.39 crore in the 2021-22 fiscal, nearly four times the allocation for 2020-21, aimed at providing tap water connections to 3.39 rural households, and only about 1.88 lakh households (31.94 per cent ) have a tap water connection.

Asked if the JJM would be completed by the March 2024 deadline, the PHE minister said there is no doubt about it.

We had initially targeted to complete the JJM by December this year but it will not be possible to finish the remaining 60 percent of work within four months, he said.

The PHE department and the contractors have faced a lot of challenges in implementing the scheme, the minister said.

“Apart from the terrain, heavy rainfall this year has created havoc in the state,” Tongkhar said. 

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