Plan formulated for restoration of traditional water sources: Sham

Excelsior Correspondent

Minister for PHE Sham Lal Sharma addressing public gathering at Samba on Wednesday.
Minister for PHE Sham Lal Sharma addressing public gathering at Samba on Wednesday.

SAMBA, Feb 12: Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma today said that the Government has formulated a plan proposal to upgrade and restore the traditional water sources like ponds, springs, nallahs under sustainability programme.
The conservation and restoration of the traditional sources would ease pressure on the tap water provided for drinking purpose as people would be able to use the water of these sources for other purposes, the Minister said while addressing participants at a one day training-cum-awareness camp on water sanitation.
The camp was organized by National Development Foundation -an NGO and Communication and Capacity Development Unit (CCDU), PHE Department, here today.
The Minister said that safe drinking water was a fundamental human need and the Government was committed to meet the requirements of all areas in this regard.
He underscored a greater role for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)   to monitor and maintain services in their respective areas and said   the Government has already identified their role and jurisdictions.
DC Samba R.K Varma, Chief Engineer PHE Jammu Div. KK Gupta , Chief Engineer, Ravi Tawi Irrigation, Hem Chander Jerath, Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sushil Aima,  S.P. Samba, Anil Kumar Magotra , State Coordinator CCDU, Dr. Narinder Butyal, Chief Functionary, NDF, Rajiv Khajuria, Sarpanchs, Panchs, health workers, ASHA workers, Anganwari workers and prominent citizens of Samba were present on the occasion.
Maintaining that provision of quality water, sanitation and conservation were among the major prime concerns of the Government, the Minister said that a joint effort is required to address this issue.
“Only Government efforts cannot suffice in meeting the objectives, but entire society has to contribute for this noble cause”, the Minister said. He said that Government’s prime duty was to create facilities, but society should coordinate to maintain these facilities in a systematic and scientific way.
He said Government has been making efforts to involve all stakeholders, especially, the PRIs who are mandated to create awareness amongst the rural masses about the water sanitation and its judicious use.
He informed that the Government has constituted Village Sanitation Committees (VSCs) to ensure safe drinking water after necessary water testing through the water testing kits being provided by the Government.
“Necessary funds for undertaking tests and executing minor repairs of hand pumps and holding awareness programmes have already been deposited in the accounts of VSCs,- headed by the concerned Sarpanchs, Junior Engineer, ASHA workers, Anganwari Workers, Science Teacher of local school, health worker of nearby health centre”, he informed further. He said that the VSCs have been empowered to conduct frequent tests of water available in their areas, adding that in case the water is unsafe, the Committees can approach the functionaries of District Level Water Sanitation Mission headed by the Deputy Commissioners.
The DDC Samba also spoke on the occasion and briefed about various activities done in this regard.