Modi calls for generating mass movement to conserve water

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid emphasis on generating a mass movement to conserve water, saying youth organisations like NCC should be involved to create water storage structures as he reviewed the drought and water scarcity situation in Jharkhand.

Emphasizing the use of technology, the Prime Minister asked the state government to identify all water bodies through unique numbers and geo-tagging “The Prime Minister called for a mass movement to be generated for water conservation and rainwater harvesting in a comprehensive manner, and said youth organizations including NCC, NSS, NYKS, and Scouts and Guides should be involved in creation of water storage structures,” an official statement said.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das along with senior state officials and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was also present during the high level meeting. The statement said that Rs 273 crore was released to Jharkhand as central share of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2015-16. “A further amount of Rs 143. 25 crore has been released as first instalment of SDRF for 2016-17. The State has disbursed Rs 376 crore to 12 lakh farmers under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF), through DBT. Insurance claims of Rs 53 crore were also settled through DBT,” the statement said.

Observing that there is a need to generate a mass movement for soil health cards, Modi said that “mobilization, momentum and mechanism” are all required to make the soil health card programme a success. He said soil testing should be developed as a skill and loans can be given for setting up labs through MUDRA. “Emphasizing the use of technology, the Prime Minister called for reporting of assets created by MNREGA, through geo-tagging and uploading of photographs with hand-held devices. “All water bodies to be identified through unique numbers and geo-tagging,” he said.

The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of regular monitoring of the progress towards implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Jharkhand plans to double its irrigated area from 19 per cent to 40 per cent in the next two years. One lakh farm ponds are planned to be built under the state plan, and an additional five lakh farm ponds will be built under MNREGA. The State is promoting fishery in the water bodies.

The Chief Minister informed that tenders for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana have been finalized in the State.