Union Minister lauds State’s ‘Neeru-Chettu’ programme
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Union Minister lauds State’s ‘Neeru-Chettu’ programme

By Thehindu calender  28-Jun-2019

Union Minister lauds State’s ‘Neeru-Chettu’ programme

The ‘Neeru-Chettu’ programme (implemented by the previous TDP government) in the State was one of the notable works done on the water conservation front, Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said on Thursday. He was replying to a question asked by Ramesh Chander Kaushik in the Lok Sabha. Mr. Kaushik asked whether the groundwater level was continuously depleting across the country and what were the steps taken to improve the situation.
Responding, Mr. Shekhawat said since water was a State subject, conserving and managing groundwater was primarily the responsibility of the States. “In this regard, a number of States, including Andhra Pradesh, have done notable work,” he observed. ‘Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan’ in Rajasthan, ‘Jalyukt Shibar’ in Maharashtra, ‘Sujalam Sufalam Abhiyan’ in Gujarat, ‘Mission Kakatiya’ in Telangana and ‘Neeru-Chettu’ in Andhra Pradesh were worth mentioning, he stated in a written reply.
Groundwater levels
Mr. Shekhawat said the groundwater levels in various parts were declining because of continuous withdrawal due to increased demand for fresh water for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialisation and urbanization.
He informed the House that the Central Ground Water Board carries out groundwater monitoring four times in a year in different States. In order to assess the declining / rising trend in water levels on a long-term basis, the pre-monsoon water level data of 2018 was compared with the decadal average (2008-2017) water level, and its analysis indicated a decline in the groundwater level in about 52% of the wells monitored.

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