New Delhi, Sep 30 : The Centre has decided to extend a pilot project to create additional water recharge facilities across the country in order to improve the fast-depleting ground water table.
The project to repair and renovate water bodies was initially limited to 26 districts of 15 states, but it will now be extended to the entire country during the current (11th) Five Year Plan, a Ministry of Water Resources spokesperson said in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The move comes close on the demands by a parliamentary panel on Water Resources suggesting the government additional steps to repair and create water bodies, especially in areas where availability of potable water is scarce.
A pilot scheme of Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of water bodies directly linked to agriculture was launched in January 2005 with an outlay of Rs 300 crore.
The funding pattern for the scheme was 75 percent grant by the Centre and 25 percent by the states concerned.
The scheme was sanctioned for 1,098 water bodies in 26 districts of 15 states. So far, 894 water bodies have either been repaired or renovated under the scheme.
A provision of Rs 2,750 crore has been made to fund 25 percent of the extended project.ndependent evaluation and impact assessment of creating new water bodies and restoration of old bodies are being carried out with the help of institutes and universities.