The Meghalaya government has decided to sanction Rs 250 crore to restore the damages caused to roads, bridges, crops and others due to floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains this June.
Informing this at the 76th Independence Day celebration, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said, “I am committing an investment of Rs 250 crore for the various restoration works. I am hopeful that we will complete the restoration works within the next six to 12 months.”
Sangma said the torrential rains in June caused flooding and landslides that were acute in areas of South Garo Hills, South West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills and East Jaintia Hills.
“I personally visited these places to assess the damage and am deeply saddened by the loss of lives. My government swung into immediate action and is working on a war footing to restore the damages caused to crops, property, roads, bridges, water supply schemes and power lines,” Sangma said while thanking the Indian Air Force, the BSF and all other armed forces for their support.
Stating that Meghalaya being a state with such large biodiversity is vulnerable to climate change, the chief minister said the government has undertaken several environmental initiatives over the last four-and-half years.
“I had launched the ‘One citizen One tree’ campaign in 2019 to exhort all the citizens to plant at least one tree. We have planted 25 lakh trees across 450 villages in the last two years,” he said.
To give a further push to conservation and involve community at a large scale, the government has also launched the ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ programme which is the largest such programme in the country.
“Under the programme, we will compensate individuals and communities with Rs 15,000 per hectare of forest as an incentive to protect forests,” he said.