Water Conservation Campaign: Rajasthan first to be awarded for water use practices
Rajasthan has become the first state to be awarded for water conservation and efficient use practices by the National Water Mission of the Government of India under Category Two--Promotion of citizen and state action for water conservation, augmentation and preservation--of awards. The award given out by the Jal Shakti ministry is in line with the larger government campaign for water conservation and its supply to every household in the country.
Use of micro-irrigation in Narmada Canal Project in Sanchore and in Tejpur Minor of Indira Gandhi Nahar Project stage-II were declared winners by a jury comprising IIT professors, former bureaucrats and water experts who verified the project credentials and visited the project.
Rajasthan’s secretary of water resources department Naveen Mahajan said the Narmada Canal project is the first major project in the country based on micro irrigation based water application. Narmada water provides irrigation to 246,000 hectares in Barmer and Jalore districts, and drinking water to three towns and 1,541 villages in both the districts.
The adoption of micro irrigation system has expanded the area under irrigation to 246,000 hectares from 136,000 hectares earlier and helped transform farming. “This has brought revolutionary changes in the desert areas with some farmers even cultivating pomegranates,” the official release said.
The Tejpur Minor project won the second prize for increasing water use efficiency by 20 per cent after the micro irrigation system was introduced during 2011-12. It led to “rise in crop production” leading to “improvement” in the socio-economic status of farmers in the area,” the note announcing the award said.