Friday, June 2, 2023

Water management authority for Northeast soon: Shekhawat

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday said a body for water resource management of the northeastern region will be formed as soon as it gets the Parliament’s approval.
It will work for holistic solutions to water-related problems of the region with coordination between the states and the Centre, he said.
“To give a new direction with a holistic approach, the North Eastern Water Management Authority was proposed. There has mostly been consensus between the states and the proposal has been sent to the Union cabinet,” Shekhawat said at a press conference here.
“I am confident that the Authority will be approved in the next Parliament session,” he said.
He pointed out that the northeastern states face a “critical situation of either too much or too little water”.
“For holistic solutions to such problems and other water resource utilisation issues, the states will work with more participation with the Centre through this body,” the Union minister added.
Shekhawat, who chaired the 12th High Powered Review Board Meeting of the Brahmaputra Board during the day, said the Board had been studying and working for optimum utilisation of water resources in the region.
The proposed body will give a new direction to it, he maintained.
On the progress of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) for rural areas in the Northeast, the minister said the states have shown “great progress”, citing the example of Assam which had started from about 1 per cent coverage and has now reached about 50 per cent.
“By 2024, we are hopeful that the Northeast will achieve 100 per cent coverage,” he added.
Shekhawat said the fund component for drinking water purification plants under JJM in rural areas has been included and it is being ensured that only safe drinking water is made available to the people.
For urban areas, there are other central government initiatives and the states should collaborate with these for maximum benefits, Shekhawat added.
He said the progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission was also “critically reviewed with ministers and officials and the pace needs to be improved”.


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