Staff Correspondent

heck dam at Hosatti village inaugurated

Programme aims at creating basic infrastructure in villages Centre plans to provide drinking water to 67,000 villages under the scheme

Belgaum: Union Minister for Planning, M.V. Rajasekharan has called upon people to join hands with the Government in implementing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ambitious "Bharat Nirman" programme for the comprehensive development of rural areas.

Addressing a gathering after dedicating a newly-constructed bhandara (check dam) at Hosatti village of Athani taluk on Saturday, he said the Bharat Nirman programme aimed at creating proper basic infrastructure such as drinking water, irrigation and uninterrupted power supply round the year.

Under the programme, the Government plans to provide drinking water to 67,000 villages, create irrigation potential in 2.50 lakh hectares of land and uninterrupted power supply to 1.25 lakh villages in the country.

The dam, "Shivayogi Jalayshaya," has been constructed under a people's participatory project by Vimochana Sangha with financial aid from Christian Children's Fund Project 1187.

Commending the role played by the sangha, Mr. Rajasekharan complimented the non-governmental organisation for taking up the cause of the people of Hosatti and ensuring their participation in a development project. He said the project was constructed at the cost of Rs. 20 lakh.

Had it been constructed by the Government, it would have spent Rs.50 lakhs, he said. "It is a model project worth emulating."

Winner of the prestigious Magsaysay International Award, Rajendra Singh, who was instrumental in rejuvenating river systems in Rajasthan and leading a national campaign on water conservation, appealed to people to save every drop of water. Stressing on the need for launching a campaign on rainwater harvesting techniques and conservation of rainwater, he said every village should become self-sufficient in water. Rainwater harvesting could be a boon to villages.