Chandigarh

NCC, NYKS volunteers to be part of Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Y.S.Rana | July 06, 2019 11:12 AM

CHANDIGARH: NSS, NCC and NYKS volunteers are set to play crucial role in the Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) which was launched on July 1 last. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, GOI, New Delhi has sent letters to the all Regional Directors of NSS, NCC and NYKS for involvement of volunteers in JSA focused on water conservation. A letter to this effect was received in the office of Chandigarh NSS Cell along with a concept note.

The Liaison Officer, Chandigarh NSS Cell told the Daily Post that the specific role the NSS volunteers called upon to play would be discussed in a meeting of NSS programme officers schedule to be held next week. It is also stated that total number of volunteers those took part in the Abhiyan should be intimated to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, GOI, New Delhi.

The note also states that senior officers are being deputed as part of special team to identified water stressed blocks and districts across the country to work with local authorities to redress scarcity in five specific interventions. These are water conservation and rainwater harvesting; renovation of traditional and other water bodies; reuse, borewell recharge structures; watershed development and intensive a forestation.

On the basis of national mapping of water stressed blocks, there are 1592 blocks in 256 districts of 36 States and UTs. Of these, 312 are critical blocks, 1186 blocks are over-exploited and 94 blocks are with least groundwater availability. Punjab has 111 water stressed blocks of 20 districts, Haryana has 81 blocks of 19 districts, Himachal Pradesh 4 blocks of 4 district and Chandigarh has one water- stressed block.    

Though water is a State issue yet the campaign will be coordinated by 257 central IAS officers of Joint or Additional Secretary-rank, drawn from ministries as varied as Space, Petroleum and Defence, according to the concept note. The campaign seems to follow the model of last year’s Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, where central officials monitored the implementation of seven flagship development schemes in 117 aspiration districts across the country.

The campaign will be completed in two phases—first phase from July 1 to September 15 in States receiving rainfall during the south-west monsoon, while States receiving rainfall in the retreating or north-east monsoon would be covered from October 1 to November 30. Overall, 312 blocks with critical groundwater levels would be covered, along with 1,186 blocks with over-exploited groundwater and 94 blocks with low groundwater availability.

The Abhiyan would aim to accelerate water harvesting, conservation and borewell recharge activities already being carried out under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme of the Rural Development Ministry, along with existing water body restoration and afforestation schemes being undertaken by the Jal Shakti and Environment Ministries. EOM

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