Kendrapara, August 8 (LocalWire): The Jal Shakti Abhiyan project was launched by the minister of water resources, information and public relations, Raghunandan Das, at Kendrapada town hall today.
The Centre on 1 July included 256 districts including Kendrapara, the only district from Odisha, in its Jala Shakti Abhiyan.
The project was launched by Union Water Resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in New Delhi to start a campaign in the water-stressed districts and blocks.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan is a campaign for water conservation and water security. The campaign will run with people’s participation in the district as authorities will educate people on rainwater harvesting, water conservation, cleaning of water bodies, improvement of groundwater level, checking the ingress of salinity in coastal pockets, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, intensive afforestation and other water conservation methods.
The scheme also aims to promote irrigation efficiency as a mass movement through asset creation, said Das.
‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan will bring positive changes in people for water conservation. We will educate and help people to work towards conservation of water.
These efforts will also be supplemented with special interventions including the development of block and district water conservation plans, promotion of efficient water use for irrigation and better choice of crops through Krishi Vigyan Kendra.
The district administration will involve students, SHGs, punchayat raj institution members, ex-servicemen, social workers and others, said the minister.
The scarcity of fresh water due to ingress of sea water in the district’s seaside villages is a major problem.
Under this project, we will help the coastal people to conserve rainwater through harvesting systems under Jal Shakti Abhiyan project, added the minister.
The forest, agricultural, soil conservation, irrigation, drainage and rural water supply and sanitation departments will prepare a comprehensive action plan to implement the project in the district, said Das.
‘Many seaside villages were virtually floating on an ocean of sweet water three decades back.
But due to excess use of ground water and also due to sea erosion, the salinity level in the water has been increasing year by year.
We are happy that the Centre included Kendrapada district in its Jal Shakti Abhiyan to educate villagers not to extract more water from the ground and to promote the use of water from ponds, rivers and other water bodies,’ said Pradip Jena, the principal secretary of water resources department.
The meeting was also addressed by district Collector Samarth Verma, Kendrapada MLA Sashibhusan Behera, Aul MLA, Pratap Dev, Patkura MLA, Sabitri Agrawalla, Mahakalapada MLA, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and others.