The Gujarat government will start a month-long initiative from May 1, the state's Foundation Day, to increase its water conservation capacity, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said today.
Tasks like deepening ponds, desilting water reservoirs and check dams, cleaning and repairing Narmada canal networks, and implementing rain water harvesting projects in urban areas will be undertaken during the 31-day statewide 'Sujalam Sufalam Water Conservation Initiative,' Rupani told reporters at a press conference.
Through the month-long programme, the government aims to increase rain water conservation capacity in the state by 11,000 lakh square feet, he said.
The government has earmarked Rs 345 crore for the initiative which will also involve, apart form various government departments, voluntary organisations, industries, educational and religious institutes, and PSUs, he said.
He said the state government had an aim to revive 32 rivers, across a length of 340 kilometres, as part of the initiative.
The move, he said, will see deepening of around 4,000 ponds, 1,500 check dams, 200 water reservoirs, and cleaning and repairing of 5,400 kilometres of canals covering 6,000 villages.
"Development gets hampered due to water scarcity. For systematic solution to the problem of water scarcity faced by the state due to low rainfall, the state government will undertake a month-long water conservation initiative starting May 1," Rupani said.
The allocation and implementation of the work will take place at the district level, and collectors have prepared master plans of works required in their respective districts, he said.
"We call for public participation through manpower, machinery and money. Collectors will co-ordinate the projects at the district level and will reimburse funds to the participants," Rupani said.
He informed that he would launch the project on May 1 by participating in the desilting of a pond at Kosamdi village in Ankleshwar tehsil of Bharuch district.
Local leaders as well as MLAs and MPs will participate in their respective areas. A committee headed by state Chief Secretary J N Singh has been set up to oversee the project, he said.