NEW DELHI: The Centre is working towards bringing 12 lakh hectares of land under micro-irrigation in the current fiscal, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
Addressing the valedictory session of the fifth five-day India Water Week here, he said it was something which hadn't been achieved in the post-Independence era.
Minister of Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal also attended the event, besides senior officials from the ministry.
"We could micro-irrigate 8 lakh hectares of area in 2016 -17. This was something which did not happen in the earlier years," Singh said.
"Now, we intend to bring additional 12 lakh hectares area under micro-irrigation in the current fiscal. That is, it will be 20 lakh hectares in two years, which was never achieved post-Independence," he added.
As he pitched for conservation of water and its efficient use, Singh also said the government planned to complete 99 prioritised irrigation projects across the country by March 2019. These projects, he added, would help irrigate a total area of 76 lakh hectares on their completion.
Singh said deliberations like the one which took place at the Water Week have helped the government work out its policies and he hailed the central government for translating lessons learnt at the week into actions and results.
He attributed the results to the government's leadership.
"You may organise several such deliberations. But what is the use if the topmost leadership doesn't act on lessons learnt? The results have percolated downwards in the last three or so years because of our strong leadership," he said.
Meanwhile, Meghwal stressed on the need to be aware about the importance of water and its qualities for mankind. He said it was everyone's responsibility to preserve the precious natural resources for future generations.
Referring to the various recommendations of IWW--2017 the minister said, "It is our responsibility to implement these recommendations. Water is not being used but misused. We have to stop this." A mobile app prepared by the Central Water Commission with information about water resources of the country was also launched on the occasion.
President Ram Nath Kovind had inaugurated the Water Week on October 10 and its theme was "water and energy for inclusive growth".
The event had detailed discussions on water, food and energy security--essential requirement for sustainable development, water for inclusive growth, sustainable energy development--key for all round economic growth and water and society, an official statement said.