Haq Khan calls for institutionalization of water resource conservation


Jammu: Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq Khan Tuesday called for institutionalizing water resource conservation and prevention of soil erosion in the state.

Minister was speaking at a meeting convened to review the progress of various ongoing projects under Integrated Watershed Management Project (IWMP) and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM).

He said the aim of IWMP is to save every drop of water that falls on earth and there is need for coordinated efforts to take forward this mission. He said works should not be repeated as similar types of works are taken under MGNREGA, Irrigation or Agriculture Department.

Abdul Haq asked the officials to lay stress on water conservation by constructing small dams and water harvesting tanks in upper belts of villages to tap water for future use besides construction of check dams and percolation tanks.

Laying stress on creation of productive assets under IWMP, he said the soil conservation works being executed under the programme should benefit maximum number of people and not individuals.

He said vested interests should not be allowed to hijack the works at grassroots level by suggesting construction of protection bunds which had become a norm in the past. He said protection bunds should be constructed only in case of exigency and where there is threat of erosion or flood that may harm local population. 

On the occasion CEO IWMP, Farooq Ahmad Rather gave a detailed presentation regarding the programme, its objectives, financial & physical achievements and the constraints. The project managers of various districts of Jammu division presented the photographs of works undertaken during the current year.

Minister emphasized the need for time-bound completion of projects and achievement of financial & physical targets.

While appreciating various works undertaken by the department, he instructed that the works undertaken should be environment friendly. “There should be minimum use of concrete and geo-membrane linings and the embankments around the tanks/ponds should not be raised above ground level” he directed.

While reviewing the progress of NRLM, Minister was informed that under Himayat scheme, the department has recently sent 157 youths including 111 boys and 31 girls, drawn from three districts of Jammu division, for skill development training in healthcare, retail banking, financial services and insurance at Apollo MedSkills Bangalore, Surya Wires Pvt Ltd. Raipur and Manpower Group Services India Pvt. Ltd Jammu. He was informed that these agencies will later consider these trainees for placement in their own companies.

Himayat is a skill development cum placement programme for unemployed youth in J&K being implemented under the umbrella of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gramin Koushalaya Yojana (DDU-GKY) by Union Ministry of Rural Development with focus on sustainable employment for rural poor youth.

Minister directed officials to make adequate arrangements for   comfortable stay of the trainees in the other states. He said JKSRLM has been entrusted with the responsibility of training and placing over 1.24 lakh state youth at an allocation of Rs 1,601.51 crore for a period of three years. The government will bear all the financial expenses of the training including lodging, boarding, transport and the fees of these trainees.

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