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15 more municipalities to come under 'Jal Dharo, Jal Bharo': Hakim

15 more municipalities to come under Jal Dharo, Jal Bharo: Hakim

Kolkata: State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim said in the Assembly on Wednesday that 15 more municipalities will be included under the 'Jal Dharo, Jal Bharo' scheme within next year as a part of the state government's water conservation move.

Hakim said that many municipalities across the state have already been brought under the scheme, while some are yet to be incorporated. As many as 15 municipalities across the state will be involved in the 'Jal Dharo, Jal Bharo' scheme, as well as water harvesting.

While discussing the

Budget of his department, Hakim made it clear that he is giving utmost importance on the preservation of water resources.

"Around 102 new waterbodies have been created as a part of the Green City Mission of the state government. As many as 421 parks have been set up under this mission, laying stress on the preservation of the environment," Hakim told the House.

'Jal Dharo, Jal Bharo' is a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has laid great stress on the digging of ponds. The Panchayat and Rural Development department has been playing a major role in the implementation of the programme and has dug up 8,327 tanks so far.

The state government has so far dug up 37,146 tanks during 2017-18. The project was taken up by the state government in 2011. The main thrust of the project was preservation of water. Under the project, tanks, ponds, reservoirs and canals were constructed.

Those who are working to dig up the canals are getting jobs under the 100 days work programme of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.

Speaking on the Budget of his department, Hakim said that there was a planned budget of Rs 3,526 crore in 2017-18, out of which Rs 2,459 crore was spent.

In 2018-19, there was a planned budget of Rs 5,754 crore, out of which Rs 5,984 crore was spent. "During the Left Front regime, the planned budget of the department remained at Rs 669 crore," Hakim said, taking a dig at CPI(M).

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