Agartala, Jan 11: The Ministry of Rural Development has called for promoting Rooftop Water Harvesting (RWH) in rural and water deficient areas of North East, while suggesting to motivate school students in this regard.
In a letter addressed to the chief ministers of the states, Union Rural Development Minister Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the ministry proposed to introduce and promote individual RWH structures in all rural households providing all necessary technical and financial support.
''We must bring sustainability to our Drinking Water Supply programme and this can be achieved in quantitative and qualitative terms by reducing or eliminating dependence on depleting ground water or poor quality ground water, and increasing availability and quality of water through Surface water, Rain water harvesting and Roof top collection of Rain water,'' Dr Singh underlined.
This would ensure RWH for rooftop collection and storage of drinking water, both for individual and community purposes, will become a part of all new Drinking Water Supply projects along with in situ recharge of all existing drinking water sources and bore wells, Dr Singh pointed out.
The R D minister had further asked to ensure that not less than 2-3 ponds or surface water collection systems are developed in each habitation under the NREGA programme and these may be the rejuvenation of existing ponds/lakes or even construction of new ones.
Dr Singh also stressed on the need to integrate Water Conservation and structures augmenting Drinking Water Supply under NREGA with the drinking water supply system in each and every habitation.
He, however, said hydro-geological maps have also been supplied to some states for facilitating construction of recharge structures and will be able to cover all habitations with safe drinking water by 2009 under the Bharat Nirman Programme, by successfully addressing the challenge of ''slipped-back habitations'' and ensuring that this phenomena does not recur again.