Coimbatore

Govt’s water conservation campaign to cover 134 lakes in Krishnagiri

Additional Secretary, Department of Food and Public Administration, E.K Majhi (second right), inspected the restoration works in Devasamudram Lake in Krishnagiri on Tuesday.

Additional Secretary, Department of Food and Public Administration, E.K Majhi (second right), inspected the restoration works in Devasamudram Lake in Krishnagiri on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: N .Bashkaran

Central team officials inspect various blocks and interact with officials

The Jal Shakti Abhiyan, the Centre’s water conservation campaign has zeroed in on 134 lakes for restoration through citizens participation here.

The Central team of officials led by E.K. Majhi, Additional Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, inspected various blocks and interacted with the block level officials and NGOs on the intent and the urgency of the campaign.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan, the government water conservation campaign, was launched last week to cover 256 water-stressed districts across the country. The Phase I of the campaign from July 1 will run through the monsoons, and the Phase II during the North East monsoons in October.

The campaign was launched in response to the several parts of the country distressed by acute water crisis. The focus of the campaign would be water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development and intensive afforestation.

The campaign led by teams at the district level, with support staff of scientists to take stock of the block level ground water levels, state of aquifers, and water recharge capabilities. The State had received only 56% rainfall, falling short in the capacity for recharge, according to the visiting team.

Addressing members of the civil society later, Mr. Majhi said the campaign is now sought to be called a movement. “Today we got an instruction to call it Andolan (movement) instead of Abhiyan (campaign). When something is a movement, it has larger participation,” he said.

According to him, the team is here not as government servants but to reach out to people, to blocks, panchayats on water conservation. “Our practices are water intensive, be it how paddy is cultivated or water is used in our homes,” he said.

“Krishnagiri is water scarce, with some critical blocks and firkas. We bring the message of conservation, and it is a collaborative effort by joining hands with the civil society, be it renovation of farm ponds, temple ponds, Mr. Majhi said. As small groups and large groups, the civil society, voluntary organisations should reach out for interventions, he said. The team is assisted by the scientists to assess the ground water levels of the district.

According to Collector S. Prabhakar, tahsildars and block development officers shall permit citizen’s participation through voluntary organisations that come forward to restore lakes. Restoration works will be expedited for completion within a fortnight, according to the Collector.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:24:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/govts-water-conservation-campaign-to-cover-134-lakes-in-krishnagiri/article28336227.ece

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