Puducherry

Raj Nivas a mere facilitator in waterbodies’ rejuvenation: Bedi

Recognising excellence: Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi handing over the ‘Swachhata Awards 2019’ to Puducherry Collector T. Arun at Raj Nivas ion Monday. Also seen are (from right) Karaikal Collector A. Vikranth Raja, Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar and Regional Director (Southern Region) of Ministry of Corporate Affairs M.R. Bhat.

Recognising excellence: Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi handing over the ‘Swachhata Awards 2019’ to Puducherry Collector T. Arun at Raj Nivas ion Monday. Also seen are (from right) Karaikal Collector A. Vikranth Raja, Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar and Regional Director (Southern Region) of Ministry of Corporate Affairs M.R. Bhat.   | Photo Credit: S_S_KUMAR

L-G fetes donors, leaders who helped in cleaning up ponds, drains and canals

The Raj Nivas only remained a “facilitator” in the drive to rejuvenate waterbodies under the corporate social responsibility programme, Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi said here on Monday.

Speaking at a function to felicitate donors and leaders who helped in reviving the ponds, canals and channels, the Lieutenant Governor said donors paid money directly to the contractor who is executing the programme.

Tracing the idea behind roping in donors for dredging the drinking and irrigation water sources in Puducherry and Karaikal regions, Ms. Bedi said during a weekend visit to Sitheri canal, a general discussion on dredging the fresh water sources emerged.

Officials who accompanied the Raj Nivas team, Ms. Bedi said, spoke about funds shortage to carry out the work. The contractors who desilted the canals in the past were yet to be paid, she said.

“We then enquired with a firm which benefited from the Sitheri canal as to whether it was interested to partner in the desilting process. From there on, we never looked back. It is only between the giver and contractor,” Ms. Bedi said.

The Lieutenant Governor praised the work of Puducherry District Collector T. Arun and Karaikal Collector Vikram Raja in implementing the programme.

Chief Secretary’s appeal

Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar said it was not necessary that the government should directly get involved in such endeavours.

Indirectly referring to the objections raised by certain quarters on the model adopted, Mr. Kumar said “when something good is happening allow it to happen.”

There was delay in preparation of estimate and in execution, he said. “I am not saying the officials deliberately over-estimate the work. It is that the wheels are rather circuitous,” he added.

The Chief Secretary appealed to the donors to adopt the waterbodies on which they had spent money for future maintenance. Mr. Arun said the district administration had identified 694 waterbodies in the region. Of these, 150 ponds were desilted under the CSR programme.

Also, 203 km of canals have been cleaned up under MGNREGA programme, he added.

His counterpart in Karaikal, Mr. Raja said the de-silting and rejuvenation of waterbodies had helped raise the water table by around 10 feet.

Raj Nivas honoured donors, distributed certificates to officials who led the team and multi-tasking staff of Public Works Department.

M.R. Bhat, Regional Director (Southern), Ministry of Corporate Affairs, and Theva Neethi Dhas, Officer on Special Duty, were present.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 3:18:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/raj-nivas-a-mere-facilitator-in-waterbodies-rejuvenation-bedi/article29882572.ece

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