J-K will adopt best global practices in water resources management, says L-G

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Jammu, April 12 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said the administration will adopt best global practices in water resources management and optimum development of water infrastructure.

He said the people should understand the importance of every drop of water.

Sinha made these remarks while reviewing the issues of water resources development and management in the Union Territory.

The Lt governor said development is necessary, but it should not happen at the cost of natural resources.

'I assure all the citizens of UT that no new locality or market shall be allowed to come up on water bodies. Conservation of water resources is the top priority of the UT administration,” he said at a review meeting.

'Our Union Territory is rich in water resources, but due to unplanned development and increase in population, the availability of clean water is very much in danger and hence, the management and regulation of water resources becomes more important,” Sinha said.

Pointing to the alarming situation of reducing numbers of ponds and depleting water resources, the Lt governor cited a survey conducted in Jammu and Kashmir in 1998.

According to the survey, there were 1,248 natural water sources, rivers and ponds, etc. However, during the satellite mapping of the same in 2009, this number was reduced to just 565.

The Lt governor called upon all those involved in the management of water resources to understand the sensitivity of the situation.

'Considering our water resources as living bodies, we have put in all our efforts for their effective management using technical tools, so that we can save water resources for the future generation,” he added.

'There have been many discussions in the past on water resources development and management, rehabilitation of rivers and lakes and flood control, but no concrete work has been done on the basis of them,” Sinha added.

The Lt governor noted that the Jammu and Kashmir Water Regulatory Authority was established in 2012 and a water policy was also planned in 2016-17, but could not be implemented properly.

'Like the authority of other states and UTs, in Jammu and Kashmir also, the authority had wide rights for inter-regional allocation of water, project evaluation, establishment of water tariff, etc. But still, there were many shortcomings,” he said.

He said the best water resources management done in the world is by Israel.

'Whether it is drip irrigation, advanced filtration, water leakage detection, rainwater collection or treatment system, all these techniques were invented by Israel. Israel has given a revolutionary contribution in the water management system,” Sinha added.

The Lt governor also expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for signing MoUs with a number of countries which are pioneers in water resources management.

Under these MoUs, technical expertise on water resources development and management is to be shared through the workshops. A number of states, including Punjab, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, have taken the benefit of the expertise of Israel in desalination of water bodies, he added.

He asserted that with G S Jha as the chairperson of the JK-WRRA, many previous issues have been resolved.

During the meeting, Israeli expert Niv Pintow gave a detailed presentation on water resources management.

Sinha said an MoU has also been signed with an agency of England to provide necessary inputs in formulation of required plans to efficiently tackle floods.

'This is a major step and will help in providing risk forecasts in terms of casualties due to floods in the river, collapse of buildings, disruptions in infrastructure and economic losses,” he added. PTI AB SNE