Union Home Minister Amit Shah along with chief minister Conrad K. Sangma on Sunday inaugurated the much-awaited Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme at Sohra in East Khasi Hills.
The inaugural programme was also attended by DoNER minister G Kishan Reddy, MoS for DoNER BL Verma and MoS for science and technology Jitendra Singh, Meghalaya PHE minister Renikton Lyngdoh.
The Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme was conceptualised by the Meghalaya government and an amount of Rs. 24.08 cr was sanctioned by the DoNER ministry in 2019 under NESIDS.
The project will provide water supply to Sohra town and 12 habitations viz. Sderkariah, Khlieh Shnong, Maraikaphon, Pdengshnong, Nongrim, Pomsohmen, Nongsawlia, Mawkisyiem, Saitsohpen, Mawpunkyrtiang, Pynshadkhurai & Kutmadan by tapping the stream source of Wah Lyngksiar and Law Sanlait Spring Sources.
The project is designed to cover an ultimate population of 22,943 persons.
The dignitaries also launched the Sohra Afforestation Project, which is a joint initiative of DGAR and the Meghalaya government during their visit.
The Sohra Afforestation Project includes block plantations proposed to be carried in 3,000 Ha; Silvi/ Aromatic/ Pastoral Development in 3,000 Ha; Fuelwood plantations proposed to be carried in 2,000 Ha and 1,000 Ha. of broom grass plantations.
The project also includes dense plantation using Miyawaki method to be carried out in over 200 Ha.; planting 50,000 ornamental trees for enhancing tourism potential; establishment of 14 nurseries; forest fire control measures and capacity building of the local communities in Natural Resource Management.
The plantations would be completed within 3 years and maintenance support would be provided up to 5 years.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Home Minister Amit Shah underlined the importance of afforestation and tree plantation.
Shah said earlier Cherrapunji used to have rains throughout the year, but due to indiscriminate harvesting in the name of development, the situation has changed.
He said an ambitious project to make Cherrapunji green again started on Sunday.
Amit Shah informed that the entire area of Cherrapunji is going to be adopted by Assam Rifles for the purpose of the plantation.
Shah said, “Our country is intact because of the paramilitary forces deployed to protect the country’s borders.”
For the last two years, they are also shouldering the responsibility of improving the environment and so far have planted 1.48 crore trees, out of which 1.36 crore plants are growing.
He said this year also about one crore saplings will be planted in different areas by making a strategy and in the next three years, a target has been set to plant 1 million trees in 1,000 hectares.
The Union home minister said today the whole world is fighting against global warming and climate change.
“Narendra Modi has done the work of reducing carbon emissions by distributing a large number of cooking gas cylinders across the country and today India is at the forefront in hydropower and solar power sectors,” he said.
Shah said with the proposed action plan of PM Modi at the Paris Agreement, the whole world is fighting against global warming and carbon emissions.
In his address, Amit Shah said as part of the Prime Minister’s ambitious project Jal Jeevan Mission, the Ministry of DoNER and the Meghalaya government under the North-East Special Infrastructure Scheme, the Greater Sohra Water Project costing Rs 25 crore, will provide pure drinking water through taps to every household.
Shah said if the source of water is not pure then people will not be healthy, therefore PM Modi has set the target of providing pure drinking water to every household in the state of Meghalaya and the country before the completion of 75 years of Independence and 50 years of Meghalaya.
There is an ambitious programme to provide drinking water to 2,80,000 families in Meghalaya, which is clubbed into 1874 small projects.