'State prepared to tackle drought with water management schemes'
Kolkata: The state government has prepared elaborate schemes to coordinate canals, wetlands and rivers to augment irrigation facilities during drought.
On the occasion of World Water Monitoring Day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: "Today is World Water Monitoring Day. Our #Bangla Govt has recently announced the new 'Jalashree' scheme with the aim of coordinating irrigation projects involving canals, wetlands & rivers so as to give effective relief to people during periods of drought. The #Bangla Govt is already running the 'Jal Dharo-Jal Bharo' scheme with the objective of rainwater harvesting. The Jalatirtha scheme, for minor irrigation, has now been extended to the Sundarbans and the Hills."
It may be mentioned that the state government has declared July 12 as 'Save Water Save Life Day', which will be celebrated throughout the state every year. On July 12 this year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took part in a road show that started from Jorasanko Thakurbari and ended at the statue of Gandhiji, where she addressed the gathering and urged them to take steps to conserve water.
The state Panchayat and Rural Development department has asked all the Gram Panchayats to take up schemes to conserve water and practice rainwater harvesting.
The Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) has made rainwater harvesting mandatory for the new big housing complexes. It has also started waste water recycling and the recycled water is used to water roadside plants and trees. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has also proposed to make rainwater harvesting mandatory in big housing complexes.
After coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee had asked all the municipalities to explore the possibility of withdrawing unfiltered water from various sources like rivers and other water bodies, filtering it and using it for drinking.
Most of the municipalities along river Hooghly are now drawing unfiltered water from the river, purifying it and sending it to the households through pipelines.
The Jalashree scheme has helped the people provide water to their farmlands during drought. This has been made possible with close monitoring by the state Irrigation and Waterways department.
Meanwhile, under the Jal Dharo-Jal Bharo scheme hundreds of water bodies throughout the state have been cleaned and upgraded. In the vast areas of Sundarbans and the hills, the project has helped the farmers irrigate their land and thereby increase their produce.
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