Shillong(Meghalaya), Feb10: The International Water Conclave concluded today with the official release of the Shillong Declaration by D.P. Wahlang, Chief Secretary of Meghalaya. Others present included Dr. Shakil P. Ahammed, Additional Chief Secretary, and Dr. Joram Beda, IAS, Commissioner & Secretary, among others.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, D.P. Wahlang said, “The paradox is that Meghalaya has the cleanest village in Asia but two of the most polluted rivers are right here in town which we are battling time and again. Yesterday, when we had the Cabinet meeting quite a few key decisions were taken to ensure that we turn them around. Officers from different departments need to go to customers, and that is where you learn about the challenges.”
Speaking of source management, he said, “We need to rejuvenate, resuscitate the various sources. People are saying that the government doesn’t have money, it’s not true. In fact, for source regeneration, we have a lot of money.”
Turning his attention to education department, he said, “We tend to forget about water conservation and waste management. This is very important because it is through education department that students are taught where should waste water go.”
The highlight of the event was the release of the Shillong Declaration, emphasizing the imperative need for embracing state-of-the-art technology in sanitation, waste, and wastewater treatment, alongside promoting water recycling initiatives to bolster water availability.
The Declaration also stressed the importance of participatory planning, implementation, and oversight in ensuring safe, sustainable, and resilient water management and governance systems, crucial for meeting diverse water needs across Hill regions.
Over the course of the conclave, participants engaged in extensive deliberations covering a spectrum of topics including water and infrastructure development, climate resilience, disaster management, spring shed development, and best practices in water conservation.
The discussions culminated in identifying actionable pathways for addressing water challenges in Hill regions.
The event marked a significant step forward in fostering collaborative efforts towards addressing water-related issues, ensuring the holistic development of Hill regions, and promoting sustainable water management practices. The insights gained from the conclave are poised to guide future actions and policies aimed at safeguarding water resources and enhancing the well-being of communities in these regions.