Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday took a step towards ensuring that future generations have access to clean and safe water as he launched the biennial Integrated Water Resources Action Plan (2023-25), said an official statement.
"The plan aims to meet the twin challenges of water depletion and waterlogging. I am confident that the action plan will serve as a roadmap to achieve the targets of water saving and water management in the state," said Khattar on the occasion.
Agriculture Minister JP Dalal was also present on this occasion.
Khattar said that the total water availability of the state is 20,93,598 crore litres whereas the total water demand is 34,96,276 crore litres.
"All water related Departments have come forward and taken the responsibility to conserve water through various demand and supply side interventions, which would save around 6.97 lakh crore litres of water in next two years," the statement quoted Khattar as saying.
The Chief Minister said that the maximum amount of water is used in the agriculture and horticulture sectors. Continuous efforts are needed to reduce water consumption by adopting water conservation methods, he added.
He said the Agriculture Department has included various measures in the action plan. According to this, 3.14 lakh acres of the area will be covered under crop diversification, which will save 1.05 lakh crore litres of water.
"Direct seeding of paddy will be done in 4.75 lakh acres and will save 1.18 lakh crore litres. 27.53 lakh acres will be brought under conservation tillage to save 0.51 lakh crore litres...," he said.
Khattar said that recently, a two-day 'water conclave' was held in Panchkula, whose main objective was to discuss an Integrated Water Resources Management Strategy and approach in view of the depleting groundwater levels.
While highlighting the importance of the substantial use of natural resources, the Chief Minister became emotional and said, "Betiyon ne hame awaaz di toh humane beti bachao beti padhao abhiyan chalaya. Aaj Dharti Maa hame awaz de rahi hai, toh ab hamara farz banta hai ki hum apne prakritik sansadhano ka dohan kare par soshan na kare (We launched Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign to save our daughters. Now mother nature is calling us to save her).
"Therefore I urge everyone to use natural resources substantially and not exploit them," he said.
Khattar said that 'Reduce, Recycle and Reuse' should be our focus as we move towards water management and conservation.
"We took initiatives like Mera Pani Meri Virasat for crop diversification. I thank the farmers of my state who have adopted this scheme on 1.5 lakh acres of land. Farmers are also moving towards the Direct Seeded Rice method," he said.
He said that at present, water is also being given to Delhi as per the Supreme Court orders. In the coming times, the water need is certainly going to increase, hence dedicated efforts are being made to ensure that proper management of water with optimum use, recycling and reuse is done, he noted.
On the SYL canal issue, he said, "We are hopeful that this issue will soon be resolved".
He also said that three dams Renuka, Lakwar and Kishau are being built so as to ensure the regulation of water. With the construction of these dams, the water needs of the state would certainly be addressed.