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Cabinet Secretary asks states to make inventory of all water bodies

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Hyderabad, June 27: Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday emphasised the need for all states to complete the inventorisation of all water bodies, including geo-tagging and preparation of a scientific plan.

He conducted a video conference with Chief Secretaries, administrators of states/ union territories and secretaries of central ministries on Jal Shakti Abhiyan. From Telangana, Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari, Principal Secretary PR&RD Sandeep Kumar Sultania, Special Secretary Irrigation Prashant Jeevan Patil and other officials attended the video conference.

Rajiv Gauba suggested that funds available under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, Finance Commission, etc., can be utilised for water conservation activities. He complimented the Chief Secretaries for building more than 75,000 new water bodies under the Amrit Sarovar programme last year as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

As the theme of this year’s Jal Shakti Abhiyan is ‘Nari Shakti se Jal Shakti’, the Union Cabinet Secretary asked the states to involve the women Self Help Groups and train them in water management and maintenance.

He stressed the need for the increased role of women in decision-making on water use. He also wanted the states to put in place a comprehensive Operation and Maintenance policy for rural and urban water supply. He stressed the need to maintain the quality of the drinking water supply through proper chlorination.

Officials were told to strictly enforce rainwater harvesting bylaws and also focus their attention on encroachments of water bodies in urban areas. Desilting and cleaning of water bodies, revitalising abandoned defunct borewells for groundwater recharge, geo-tagging of water bodies and updation in state and revenue records, intensified afforestation in catchment areas and rejuvenation of small rivers are some of the areas of special focus of Jal Shakti Abhiyan, he added.

IANS

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