Article courtesy of TNN | October 10, 2014 | The Times of India | Shared as educational material
SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday said that potable water would become scarce in times to come and preservation is extremely important. He said that rooftop rainwater harvesting structures should be made compulsory in rural areas and field of activities of various departments be demarcated for effective implementation of water resources development, conservation initiatives and watershed development followed by physical inspections.
The CM said this while presiding over the third meeting of Himachal Pradesh water management board in Shimla. He suggested that it should be mandatory to construct field channels from the main canal for irrigating land. It had been observed that major projects like Shah-Nehar had been completed but the feeding channels connecting fields had not been constructed, thus depriving people of irrigational facilities, he said.
“Every project to be constructed in future must have feed canals and there should be signages containing full particulars of the scheme with name of the engineers involved, construction cost, year of starting and completion,” he said. Citing example of Kinnaur district where numerous water tanks and harvesting structures had been constructed, Virbhadra Singh said that focus must be on providing re-used and pure treated water to the people for irrigational and domestic purpose on the analogy of developed countries. He said that traditional water bodies needs to be preserved and every new project or new scheme should begin with taking into consideration all aspects.
He said that proper physical audit of water harvesting structures, check dams, canals, water tanks and other similar works would be done and the departments would have to maintain full record of the structures and works undertaken. He said it had been observed that many water harvesting structures were lying idle with little or no water in them, and the departments should not consider construction of structures as their achievements but it had to be ensured that they were long-lasting and benefiting the population for irrigational and other purposes.
He said that many rivers and rivulets of the state were usually in spate during monsoon and remain dry or with little water during winter and summer. It was during the monsoon that the water should be stored and conserved along the bank of the rivulets and nullahs for meeting summer requirement.