NREGS boost to water resources in Telangana
Census of traditional water bodies before monsoon to decide on works
Hyderabad: A comprehensive census of traditional water bodies would be soon taken up for their conservation and rejuvenation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to improve groundwater table and conserve water efficiently.
The rural development department would take up the activity. Instructions have been given to the district authorities in this regard. The census may be completed by the onset of monsoon. Removal of encroachments in water bodies' boundaries and spread areas would be taken by the revenue authorities.
The traditional water bodies would be rejuvenated to ensure increase in the groundwater table and conserve rain water. The programme would be taken under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan scheme of the Centre. The scheme has covered about 256 water-stressed districts across the country in last year.
According to the union rural development ministry, more than 6.5 crore people became part of the Jala Shakti Abhiyan last year and more than 75 lakh traditional and other water bodies and tanks were renovated and more than a crore water conservation and rainwater harvesting structures were created all over the country.
In order to improve the groundwater table, central and state sector schemes in irrigation and water conservation sectors have also been allowed to be implemented with suitable dovetailing with MNREGS works.
Apart from the water conservation and irrigation activities being allowed under MNREGA, a number of related activities would be taken up under other schemes being implemented by the Ministry of JaI Shakti and Department of Land Resources.
These include augmentation of existing water sources, groundwater recharge, rainwater harvesting and grey water management for reuse and recharge (construction of community soak pits, leach pits, waste stabilisation pond, repair and restoration of water bodies, watershed management. Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) grey water management activities would be taken up.
Works of rejuvenation of traditional water bodies like irrigation tanks, old step wells, Baolis, old ponds and other water bodies, etc are permissible under MGNREGS.
After the census of traditional water bodies, works of renovation including desilting, construction and strengthening of inlets and outlets, catchment area treatment would be taken up on priority. Similarly, rejuvenation of small rivers through community driven River Basin Management practices would also be initiated.
The Central Ground Water Board and State Level Nodal Agencies (SLNA) of Watershed Development Component of PMKSY Programme would provide technical support to select suitable locations for construction of suitable water harvesting and ground water recharge structures.