HP is concerned about water conservation
Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur participated in the national level conference on rural drinking water supply and water resources conservation organized by the Ministry of Water Resources at New Delhi on Tuesday.
Addressing the conference, the IPH Minister apprised the Centre about 25 percent cut in funds imposed on Himachal Pradesh under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and urged that the state should be provided ample funds under the programme. He also informed that 99 projects were proposed under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) in 2014-15 and Himachal Pradesh did not get any project and added that five detailed project reports (DPRs) were still lying pending with the Centre.
He said that parameters for hill states should be relaxed as they cannot be equated with other states where cost of execution of projects was comparatively less as compared to hills. He also apprised about the unnecessary delays caused due to Forests Conservation Act, 1980 (FCA) as most of the land in the state is forest land and delays in clearances and stringent rules were causing hindrance in implementing development projects.
IPH Minister said that interests of Himachal Pradesh were sacrificed in various developmental projects whether it was the share in electricity in BBMB or compensation for Pong dam oustees. He said that the state has sincerely contributed in the development of the country and is providing water to Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and Chandigarh and contribution of Himachal Pradesh for green revolution in other states cannot be denied. He urged the Centre to protect the interests of the state and provide its due share.
He also suggested creation of National Water Supply and Irrigation Authority for better monitoring and implementation of projects.
Mahender Singh Thakur said that state was making serious efforts in water conservation through rain water harvesting in middle and lower altitudes and snow harvesting structures in higher altitudes. He sought the support of Centre government for the projects in these areas which can contribute big in water conservation in the state.
He said that Himachal Pradesh is concerned about water conservation and efforts are being made to generate awareness across all the sections of the society especially in the schools. Need is being felt for serious efforts regarding generating awareness among young citizens about the importance of water, he added.
Secretary, IPH R.N. Batta accompanied the Minister during the conference.