Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday said that the state government has undertaken several new initiatives to combat climate change in the State.

The projects include – construction of a series of cascading small multipurpose reservoirs that will enable the impounding of the 3,700 mm of annual rainfall that the State receives.

Chief minister Sangma, who called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday, said this.

“The conserved water will be used for varied purposes including drinking, irrigation, fisheries and tourism development. An externally aided project of 100 million USD has been proposed to the Department of Economic Affairs to fund this ambitious project,” Sangma added.

He also informed the Prime Minister that cadre of natural resource management volunteers are being raised in each of the 6500 villages of the State, which is part of the Meghalaya State Water Mission.

“This cadre will be trained and empowered so that they are able to integrate traditional knowledge and modern technology towards solving the challenges of climate change,” the chief minister said.

Sangma during his meeting with Modi expressed his gratitude to the Centre and Prime Minister for providing an amount of Rs. 5,105 cr from the share of central taxes and Rs. 1,279 cr as Revenue Gap Grant for the next financial year.

He also urged the Prime Minister to consider State-specific projects as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission.

Sangma said that the State-specific projects will go a long way taking forward the development agenda of the government in Meghalaya.

He also informed PM Modi that Meghalaya envisages hosting an international conference on climate change and natural resource management with the participation of all the Northeastern chief ministers and other distinguished personalities in the field.

“The conference will provide a platform for showcasing the various climate-related good practices in the region and will bring out an action plan for climate change reversal and mitigation.

“It will also identify a cadre of youth from the region, who will play the lead role in taking forward the agenda and will represent the region and the country in the COP26 Summit at Glasgow, UK,” Sangma told Modi.

He also sought a convenient time from the Prime Minister, so that Meghalaya can hold the event in the next three months.

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