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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Govt focus on falling ground water levels

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 16, 2013
First Published: 00:54 IST(16/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:59 IST(16/3/2013)

As part of a "multi-pronged approach" for "long-term solutions", the government is keen to focus on rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge in Delhi.  

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It has formed a committee, which is among the four committees that Union water resources minister Harish Rawat has set up on Wednesday, for a cleaner Yamuna and improving its overall catchments.

"We need to re-look at water reservoirs and increasing their storage capacity," Rawat told HT.

Considering the fast depleting ground water levels in Delhi, the committee’s role will be to lay emphasis on spreading awareness and proper implementation of rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge schemes.

"This will work for drawing a five-year project harping on these two aspects," he said. 

An ambitious plan — welcomed by environmentalists — is a feasibility study of commissioning of water bodies for stream recharge and spring recharge in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

"This will also work for channels to divert excess flood waters for storage and use it in lean period in Haryana and Delhi," the minister said.

The third committee will work in the Yamuna catchments to increase water use efficiency while another would monitor and expedite Kishau, Lakhwar Vyasi and Renuka dam/reservoir projects, all upstream in Yamuna basin for water storage.

The committees have been given a deadline of three months, he said.

"This is for the first time that a union minister has talked about the entire catchment area, it is a welcome step," said Manoj Misra, convenor of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan.

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