Four organizations set 8-day deadline to fix problem
FROM A REPORTER
SHILLONG, March 28: A group of four social organizations on Tuesday set an eight day deadline to the State government to immediately fix the chronic shortage of water supply in Shillong city and in rural areas in the State.
The group comprising CSWO, SAAHAT-DAASP, AMIWU and NoSDUWU further threatened to knock on the doors of the Meghalaya High Court seeking its intervention, if the state government fails to take up any serious action in this regard.
Revealing an RTI document, which was received from the office of the chief engineer (PHE) Shillong, CSWO president, Agnes Kharshiing at a press conference in the city today said that the RTI exposed that an amount to the tune of Rs. 1,301,216,429 crore has been spent by the PHE department on the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS), however, the residents of many places in rural areas and in the city as well, are still facing scarcity of water.
The RTI findings and revelations also came at a time when Shillong and its suburbs are facing acute water shortage due to the breakdown of a major supplying line under the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS).
Referring to the Estimate Committee of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly report tabled in the Assembly on March 23, 2016, Societal Action against Human Trafficking, Drug Abuse and Social Problem (SAAHAT-DAASP) president Erwin K Syiem Sutnga, said, “It is a contempt of the Committee report and we will bring this matter to the notice of the Estimate Committee on the answers given by them because this report clearly indicted the PHE department.”
He pointed out that the RTI report filed by Kharshiing clearly contradicts the Estimate Committee report as in the RTI on a query questioning whether the Committee has indicted the PHE department for delay in implementation of schemes relating to GSWSS and Umlynka Water Supply Scheme (UWSS) in which the reply was in the negative.
Informing that the United tions (UN) have taken the supply of water as a basic of human right, Sutnga said, “However in this case, it has been blatantly violated by the government and the UN has also placed an accountability mechanism where if this matter is not solved by the government of Meghalaya, we will be taking this up with the government of India and also with the UN.”
In this connection, he informed that the social organizations will be embarking on a sigture campaign to be participated by the citizen of Shillong and other areas of Meghalaya.
Sutnga further urged all the citizen of the state irrespective of their tribe or religion to join them and raise their voices to protest against the shortage of water supply.
Stating that there is rampant corruption within the PHE department, he said, “So much money was spent on water supply as indicated in the RTI however nothing has been done so is it not a clear case of corruption as the government was even asked by the Estimate Committee to fix the responsibility, however why this was not done, hence the department should be investigated by an independent inquiry like the CBI.”