Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma has called for strong initiatives for re-charging the ground water table, adding that water sources are constantly depleting and there is great need of a well-knit strategy to raise the water table for a better tomorrow. He also stressed the need for stepping up of awareness campaign for judicious use of water in the State.While chairing a monthly meeting to review the performance of PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control Department in Jammu pision, here today, the Minister expressed satisfaction on the implementation of various decisions taken in previous meetings to improve the overall functioning of the Department. He stressed the need for improving the monitoring mechanism for timely completion of various on-going schemes.
Taking detailed appraisal of various components of schemes, the Minister laid stress on strict implementation of sustainability programme which is aimed at to conserve the existing PHE schemes for a longer period. He directed the engineers to take all possible steps to improve the efficacy of schemes so that they serve their purpose. He also stressed the need for improving the work culture at the grass root level to provide better services to the people. He also directed for framing Village Sanitation Committees (VSCs) at the earliest to make them accountable for regulating the water supply in the rural areas. The Minister also stressed for active involvement of PRIs in the functioning of PHE to ensure proper distribution of water supply.
Issuing strict warning to the engineers for violating any norms while making operational new PHE schemes, the Minister said any lapse on this account will not be tolerated. They (engineers) must ensure all components including alternate equipment at the PHE stations to avoid any failure due to break down of electric motors. The engineers should also get themselves fully satisfied about the sustainability of source while conceiving new scheme so that the scheme serves its purpose for the designated area and population, he asserted.As a part of reformative measures and to improve revenue generation, the Minister directed the concerned for speeding up the process of installation of water meters, especially on commercial establishments. He also directed for installation of energy meters on all water establishments to ensure judicious use of electricity.
The Minister also released NRDWP framework document for implementation of the Programme in the State.Giving resume of the functioning of the department, Commissioner/Secretary, PHE, Dr. Pawan Kotwal informed the meeting that under NRDWP 110 schemes at an estimated cost of Rs. 246.56 crore were targeted for the current year, out of which 17 schemes have been completed as on date with an expenditure of Rs. 79.24 crore out of total release of Rs. 117 crore. Besides, 572 hand pumps have been installed and 874 schools have been covered. With the completion of these schemes, 79 habitations with a population of over 35000 have been covered in Jammu pision with the facility of potable drinking water, said the Commissioner.Under Major Medium Irrigation sector, 4 schemes have been sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs. 329.41 crore, out of which one scheme namely modernization of New Partap Canal has been completed. An amount of Rs. 223.85 crore has been incurred.
Under Minor Irrigation Sector, 426 schemes have been sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs. 571.42 crore, out of which 220 schemes have been completed with an involvement of Rs. 318.30 crore. With the completion of these schemes, the irrigation potential in Jammu pision has improved substantially, said Dr. Kotwal.Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Mr. Varinder Badyal, Chief Engineer, PHE, Mr. K.K. Gupta, Chief Engineer, Ravi Tawi Irrigation Complex, Mr. H.C. Jerath, Superintending Engineers and Executive Engineers of Jammu pision and officers of Planning Department were also present in the meeting.