SRINAGAR: J&K Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta Wednesday stressed on delivering all the Amrit Sarovars (AS) well before the set deadline. He made these remarks while chairing a meeting of the UT Level Committee constituted for Amrit Sarovar here.
Dr Mehta impressed upon the officers to work in a mission mode to identify the sites for all the 1500 AS and start work at an earliest on each of them. He asked them to use the work season efficiently. He advised them to take the monsoons into consideration in the areas which receive heavy rainfall during it and complete all excavations and earth work before its onset.
Highlighting the importance of such assets for a village life the Chief Secretary called them the milestones of progress for them. He emphasised on meeting all the relevant guidelines while creating these assets.
Dr Mehta also maintained that the works should be carried out with cooperation of the general public. He asked them to fully involve the PRIs and locals in this development activity in consonance with the major aims of this flagship scheme.
The meeting was apprised that the Amrit Sarovar is to be generally constructed on at least 1 acre of land with a water holding capacity of about 10,000 cubic meters. The Mission aims at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country as a part of celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, as was revealed in the meeting.
It was informed that recently the J&K Lieutenant Governor dedicated 100 Amrit Sarovars to the public across the districts of UT. It was elucidated that these were completed at a total cost of Rs 44.41 Cr. Out of this, Rs.15.09 Cr were utilized out of MGNREGA and Rs.3.98 Cr from SBM, as was said in the meeting.
The meeting also discussed that the timeline for 100% target of 1500 AS is 15th August 2023. Out of these sites for 1214 (81%) AS had been identified and uploaded on the national portal. These were estimated to cost Rs 142.14 Cr with Rs 82.54 Cr to be provisioned out of MGNREGA and Rs 59.60 Cr from other sources.
It was further apprised that peoples’ participation at all levels of its execution is the key to the entire initiative, as it is meant to evoke collective spirit of the community. It also includes encouraging public contribution (crowd funding/CSR) for the work.
In this pursuit it also envisages laying of foundation stone for the AS by freedom fighters or her/his family members or by the family of martyrs (post-independence) or a local Padma awardee. In case there is no such citizen available, the eldest citizen of the specific/local Gram Panchayat is to be engaged, as was brought out in the meeting.
As far as the funding for the projects is concerned, the resources available from Mahatma Gandhi NREGS, XV Finance Commission Grants or similar schemes from the State/ Central government either individually or in combination may be accessed for this purpose.
Its components include development of pondage area, treatment of catchment banks, removal of encroachments, grey water treatment, plantation activities, improvement of drainage channels, development of spring near AS, common signage board, platform for flag hoisting etc.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Prime Minister launched Mission Amrit Sarovar on April 24 of 2022, on the eve of National Panchayat Day with a view to conserve water for the future.
Under this programme a total of about 50,000 Amrit Sarovar are to be constructed org rejuvenated in the whole country, as was ascertained in the meeting.