Water conservation

The State at the head of water conservation works: Minister

“The state won the country’s top prize for undertaking water conservation work,” Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa said in Belagavi on Wednesday.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan focuses on water conservation in water stressed taluks across the country.

The state has used several techniques such as rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies and reservoirs, and borehole recharge structures.

“We have undertaken the construction of over 72,000 agricultural ponds and 90,000 block checks. We have undertaken the recharging and rejuvenation of 4,000 open wells, 14,000 boreholes and 286 Kalyani temples. The Center appreciated the efforts of the state to take over the work of Jal Shakti Abhiyan through MGNREGA, ”he said.

He was addressing gram panchayat workers at a conference organized by the Department of Rural Development.

The state has completed work on 2.38 lakh of the 4.97 lakh water conservation projects since March of this year. Over 40 lakh MGNREGA workers have made this possible. “I call them MGNREGA warriors,” he said.

“We are working towards the Catch the Rain target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We are following the guidelines that 65% of costs under MGNREGA should be used to conserve natural resources, ” he said.

The department spent approximately 2,900 crore on MGNREGA. Of this amount, 82% was spent on Jal Shakti Abhiyan, the minister said.

No less than 704 water collection structures and work on the development of 55,000 reservoirs, silt removal and construction of lakes and holes for livestock are underway. More than 1.12 afforestation works and 464 multi-arch dams and 1,262 other water percolation works were carried out. The Union government has taken note of this, he said.

This work has been undertaken mainly in the districts of Tumakuru, Ramnagaram, Kalaburagi, Raichur and Belagavi. Similar work is also being undertaken in other neighborhoods.

The department organizes training sessions for newly elected Gram Panchayat members. “We have already completed the sessions in three districts,” he said. He spoke at length about the duties of members of rural local bodies and how their work in rural areas can help them develop a career in public life later.

Legislative Council Member Mahantesh Kavatagimath, BJP District Chairman Sanjay Patil, Principal Secretary for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Uma Mahadevan and others were present.

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