Shillong, Jul 25 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday inaugurated a water supply project, designed to benefit over 20,000 people in East Khasi Hills, in the presence of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and other dignitaries.
Official sources said the ‘Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme’, conceptualized by the state government and funded by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), will incur an expenditure of Rs 24.08 crore.
Shah, during the program, pointed out that the Narendra Modi government is taking necessary steps to provide drinking water to every household.
“As part of the PM’s ambitious 'Jal Jeevan Mission', the Ministry of DoNER and the Meghalaya government have given shape to this project, under which pure drinking water will be provided through taps,” Shah maintained.
If the source of water is not pure, people may fall ill, he said.
“PM Modi has set the target of providing pure drinking water to every household in the country before India marks its 75 years of Independence,” he stated.
DoNER minister G Kishan Reddy, MoS DoNER B L Verma and MoS science and technology Jitendra Singh and PHE minister Renikton Lyngdoh were among those who were present at the inauguration.
The project will tap the stream source of Wah Lyngksiar waterfall and another spring to supply water to Sohra Town and 12 habitations close to Sohra in East Khasi Hills, according to the official sources.
During the day, Shah also launched the ‘Sohra Afforestation Project’, which is a joint initiative of the Assam Rifles and the Meghalaya government.
As part of the venture, fuelwood trees will be planted, nurseries would be established, and efforts would be made to build the capacity of local communities in managing natural resources.
Shah, after launching the project, underscored the importance of afforestation and tree plantation.
Earlier Cherrapunji used to experience rainfall throughout the year, but due to “indiscriminate harvestation”, the situation has changed, he noted.
Hailing the Assam Rifles for the initiative, he said, “Our country is intact because of the paramilitary forces who have been deployed to protect its borders. Over the last two years, they are also shouldering the responsibility of improving the environment,” he stated.
Shah further said that a target has been set to plant one million trees in the next three years in various parts of the country.
“Today the whole world is fighting against global warming and climate change. PM Narendra Modi has distributed a large number of cooking gas cylinders across the country to reduce carbon emissions. India is at the forefront in generating hydropower and solar power.
“With the proposed action plan of PM Modi at the Paris Agreement, the whole world is fighting against global warming and carbon emissions,” he added.
Later in the day, the home minister left for Assam.
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