KENDRAPARA: Jal Shakti Abhiyan for Kendrapara district was launched by Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Das on Thursday. On July 1, the Centre had included 256 districts in the country, including Kendrapara, the only district from Odisha, in its Jal Shakti Abhiyan. The campaign for water conservation and security will be run through people participation in the district.
“Under the scheme, we will educate and help people to work for rainwater harvesting, maintenance and upkeep of ponds and village tanks and conservation of water. The water conservation efforts will also be supplemented with special interventions, including the development of block and district water conservation plans, promotion of efficient water use for irrigation and a better choice of crops through Krishi Vigyan Kendra. The district administration will involve students, SHGs, Panchayati Raj Institution members, ex-servicemen, social workers and others,” said the Minister.
Freshwater is scarce due to salinity ingress in seaside villages and to find a solution to this, coastal people will be taught to conserve rainwater through harvesting system under Jal Shakti Abhiyan, added the Minister.
Many seaside villages had access to sweet water three decades back but due to excess withdrawal of groundwater and sea erosion, the salinity level increased adding to the troubles of locals, said Pradeep Jena, Principal Secretary in Water Resources department. Inclusion of the district in Jal Shakti Abhijan to educate the villagers is a welcome step, he added. Collector Samarth Verma, legislators Sashibhusan Behera, Pratap Deb, Sabitri Agrawalla and Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak spoke.