Article from NitCentral
India is blessed with diverse natural resources, water being one of them. Growing pressure on water resources – from population and economic growth, climate change, pollution, and other challenges – has major impact on our social, economic, and environmental well-being.
The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, under the able leadership of Smt. Uma Bharti, has taken a number of initiatives especially related to policy change in water pollution abatement also initiating action for inter-linking of Rivers, Flood Forecasting, Ground Water management & regulation, water conservation etc.
Here is a brief overview of some of the key achievements of the Ministry in 2015:
- The Ministry has identified Inter-linking of Rivers as a priority. ‘Ken-Betwa Link Project’ has been declared as National Project. Special Committee on Interlinking of Rivers set up for time bound implementation of ILR projects
- Inauguration of a laboratory as centre of excellence for advanced Ground Water research at NIH Roorkee
- Intra – State link Projects: DPR of BurhiGandak – Noon – Baya -Ganga Link Project (Bihar) and Kosi – Mechi Link Project (Bihar) completed.
- Rs. 3680 crore approved by EFC for River Development and Water Information Management.
Water pollution abatement: (Namami Gange)
- “Namami Gange” – Integrated Ganga Conservation Programme has been approved by the Cabinet at the cost of Rs. 20,000 crore and will be implemented by 2020.
- A team of 13 Gram Panchayat Chairpersons of Sahibganj District, Jharkhand was identified by SPMG Ranchi to visit a model Seenchewal village for their training and awareness programme.
- 1,649 Gram Panchayats alongside Ganga has been identified for comprehensive sanitation coverage and making them free from open defecation through Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. Letter of Authority issued to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation worth Rs. 263 crore.
- 4 battalions of Ganga Task Force under Territorial Army with Ex-Servicemen have been approved in principle by Ministry of Defence.
- For afforestation along the Ganga River covering the five range states, Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun is preparing a DPR to be implemented soon.
Water resources :
- PMKSY scheme launched which will cover Command Area Development & Water Management(CAD&WM), Repair, Renovation & Restoration( RRR), Minor Irrigation Schemes and Ground Water, use of treated affluent from sewage treatment plant for Irrigation and any other scheme proposed for providing ‘HarKhetKoPani’ will be implemented from PMKSY.
- The Polavaram Project is being implemented as a National Project on river Godavari aiming at an annual irrigation potential of 4.36 lakh hectare in East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, West Godavari and Krishna districts in Andhra Pradesh. Rs 250 crore was released by the Ministry this year for this project.
- National Aquifer Management (NAQUIM) project undertaken for optimal utilisation of groundwater with community participation. 5.89 lakh sq. km areas will be mapped by September, 2017 – partly through innovative heliborne surveys.
- Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) taken up with World Bank assistance at an estimated cost of Rs. 2100 crore, 233 dams in five states identified for rehabilitation. Work sanctions are being done in collaboration with states.
- Rs.320 crore released to NCT of Delhi for water sector reforms including Rs.50 crore for Renuka Dam Project.
4772 flood/inflow forecasts were issued during the flood season 2014 out of which 4667 forecasts were found to be within permissible limit of accuracy. The overall percentage of accuracy is 97.80%.
- An integrated scheme for Ground Water development & management has been prepared at the cost of Rs. 6000 crore with the World Bank’s assistance. Rs. 60 crore has been earmarked for Ground Water development.
- “Hamara Jal- Hamara Jeevan” initiative organized in 485 districts to engage scientists, engineers, water communities, Panchayati Raj Institution, NGO’s and other stake holders to address issues of water resources planning at village level to generate awareness for water conservation.
- Web based application system for issuing NOC for ground water extraction launched.
- Pollution control measures treated affluent water for irrigation.
- Loan assistance agreement for 33,959 million Japanese Yen from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Rengal Irrigation Sub-project, Left Bank Canal (LBC)–II, Phase-II of Odisha was signed in Ministry of Finance (Deptt. of Economic Affairs) on 27.3.2015 at New Delhi between Government of Japan and Government of India.
- Memorandum of Understanding between India and Israel for cooperation in water management is under consideration.
- 58th and 59th meetings of Joint Committee for implementation of Treaty on sharing of Ganga Waters at Farakka were held in June 2014 in Bangladesh and January, 2015 in India respectively.
- As a part of the technology transfer initiatives under the programme, basin level assessment and water management strategies were demonstrated with a joint analysis of a midsized basin in Eastern India (Brahmani- Baitarni). The skill development has opened way for taking up studies of other basins as well.
Few proposed initiatives for 2015-16:
- To set up National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency to control and regulate efficient use of water. Also, National Water Informatics Centre to be set up for institutionalizing India Water Resources Information System.
- Rejuvenation of Yamuna River is being contemplated.
- Implementation of Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project & middle Siang project.
- Strengthening of Participatory Irrigation Management & involving public participation in Ground Water management and rain water harvesting
- Efforts to upgrade all the three Research Stations namely Central Soil and Material Research Station, Central Water and Power Research Station and National Institute of Hydrology into “Centers of Excellence” are also underway.