States ask Centre to relax norms for inclusion of water schemes

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New Delhi, Jun 17 (UNI) The state governments have requested the Centre to relax its norms for inclusion of schemes and assistance under three of its ongoing schemes -- Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programmes (AIBP), Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) -- of water bodies, and Command Area Development and Water Management (CADWM).

At a Conference of Principal Secretaries/Secretaries of Irrigation, Water Resources and Command Area Development Departments of States and Union Territories organised by Ministry of Water Resources for discussing various issues relating to Water Resources Development&Management here yesterday, the states were requested to prepare new projects to avail funding facility for schemes under these programmes.

Senior officials of NABARD, National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD) and other Central Govt Organisations also attended the conference.

The issues of AIBP, RRR of Water Bodies, Irrigation component of Bharat Nirman, PM's Package of Agrarian Distress Districts, CADWM Programme, Flood Management, Ground Water Management, Hydrology II Project, Information, Education&Communication (IEC), Impact of Climate Change on water resources and Public Private Partnership (PPP) etc were discussed and consensus was evolved on many issues for the development and management of water resources sector.

The state representatives indicated progress on various programmes and made suggestions.

The conference recognised the need for evolving norms for availing grant on the recommendations of 13th Finance Commission for upkeep and maintenance of water resources development assets created in States.

It recognised the need for increased emphasis on micro-irrigation and need for training and capacity building for micro-irrigation management. The meet also stressed upon the need for preparing an integrated action plan for ground water recharge in critical blocks/watersheds for improving availability of ground water.

The state representatives were requested to forward nominations for Bhoomijal Samvardhan Puraskar and National Water Award for best practices in water harvesting and ground water recharge for consideration.

The awards will be given at the second Ground Water Congress scheduled this year in September here.


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