‘IWMP to save every drop of water that falls on earth’
SRINAGAR: Minister for Rural Development Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice, Abdul Haq Khan on Wednesday reviewed the progress of various schemes under execution in the Department of Rural Development and directed officials to utilise allocated budget before the onset of winters, an official press note read.
The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Nirmala Sharma, Director Rural Development Kashmir, Gazanfar Ali, Mission Director JK State Rural Livelihood Mission Javid Bakshi, Deputy Director Finance, ACDs of various districts and other senior officials of the district.
While taking the review of the developmental works, the minister asked the concerned officers to ensure completion of targeted works of the year as soon as possible. He said in case of lapse of funds, the concerned officers would have to take the responsibility and face action.
The department has spent 608 crore till date under MGNREGA out of the available budget of Rs 668 crore, the minister according to the press note was informed.
It was stated that 99 lakh mandays have also been generated under the scheme till date thus achieving the target of 83 percent.
The minister directed the officials to “prioritise works for next year and concentrate on construction of water harvesting tanks under IWMP (Integrated Watershed Management Programme)”. He directed officials of IWMP to go for convergence of funds under MGNREGA for construction of harvesting tanks in rural areas.
He said during past few years the department concentrated on developing road connectivity that emerged out to be a great success and a network of roads was developed in rural areas.
Minister asked the officials to lay stress on water conservation by constructing water harvesting tanks and small dams in upper belts of villages to tap water for future use besides construction of check dams and percolation tanks.
He said, “The aim of IWMP is to save every drop of water that falls on earth and coordinated efforts are needed to forward in its mission.”
He said in convergence mode with various other departments consolidation of works could be done hence avoiding repetition of works as the similar works were done under MGNREGA, Irrigation, IWMP and agriculture department.
Under Swach Bharat Mission, the minister was informed that the program was being implemented in all the districts of the state. 7519 villages of the state would be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the end of Year 2019. 200 villages have been declared ODF while 600 villages were at saturation mode, the press note further read.
According to the press note, the department will construct four lakh Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) during current financial year while 7.57 lakh IHHLs will be covered by the end of year 2019. Officials, as per the note, said 3.30 lakh IHHLs have been covered so far covering about 3.30 lakh households.
Regarding the Solid Waste Management, Khan said the biggest challenge for the government was the management of solid waste and numerous initiatives have been taken by the department for the purpose. He said many pilot projects have been initiated in many Panchayats and if successful, would be replicated in other villages, the press note added.