Over 3 lakh works to be taken up under Jal Shakti in State

The State government will take up over three lakh water conservation works under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, a centrally aided scheme, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister KS Eshwarappa said in Hubballi on Friday.

He said that ₹ 4,310 crore would be spent on these works in the next 100 days.

He was speaking at the state-level launch of the scheme in a private hotel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Jal Shakti Mission under the theme “Catch the Rain, Where it Falls, When it Falls” in a bid to conserve rainwater through a participatory approach.

Several programs have been planned to conserve rainwater and use it when needed, he added.

Karnataka will strive to secure the first place in the country in the effective implementation of the Abhiyan.

Removing silt and rejuvenation of lakes and other water bodies, construction of multi-arch check-dams, farm ponds, soak pits, afforestation activities and other programmes would be taken up, he added.

MGNREGA was benefiting a large number of people, he said. Impressed by this, the center had allocated additional funds of ₹ 800 crore to the state, he said.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aimed at providing drinking water facility for 18.5 crore houses by 2024. A sum of ₹ 3.6 lakh crore had been earmarked for the project.

Mr. Joshi said that the daily wage of MGNREGA workers was increased to ₹ 299 on April 1 this year. The Jal Dhara project is being implemented in Dharwad district at a cost of ₹ 334 crore under Jal Jeevan Mission.

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said that water scarcity was a grave issue and had to be addressed immediately. Everyday, around 65 crore people in the country suffer from water scarcity. By 2050, water scarcity is expected to affect a large section of the country’s population. People should join hands with the government to protect water sources, he said.

RDPR Principal Secretary LK Atheeq, Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI) Director Rajendra Poddar and others also spoke.

The Ministers gave away awards to 112 officers and employees of the RDPR Department.

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