Jal Shakti Abhiyan
The National Water Mission:
The National Water Mission (NWM) was established in 2011 under the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) with the objective of “conservation of water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its more equitable distribution both across and within States through integrated water resources development and management”. The National Water Mission works on following five distinctive goals:
i. Comprehensive water data base in public domain and assessment of the impact of climate change on water resource.
ii. Promotion of citizen and state actions for water conservation, augmentation and preservation.
iii. Focused attention to vulnerable areas including over-exploited areas.
iv. Increasing water use efficiency by 20%.
v. Promotion of basin level integrated water resources management.
A number of strategies have been identified for achieving above mentioned five goals which lead to integrated planning for sustainable development and efficient management of water resources.
In order to work on the strategies and to support Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign, State Governments are advised to set up “Jal Shakti Kendras” (JSKs) in all the district HQs. These JSKs may act as resource and “knowledge centres” for disseminating information related to water, techniques for water conservation, water quality, grey water management and provide technical guidance to local people as well as the district administration in these matters.
!!Jal Shakti Kendra officially Inaugurated at Soreng District. Jal Rakshaks or Water Guards Geared up for the Cause of Water!!
The Jal Shakti Kendra was officially inaugurated on June 2, 2023 by the District Collector Shri Bhim Thatal in Soreng. The inauguration ceremony was attended by various officials including ADM Shri Dhiraj Subedi, ADC (Development) Shri Gaayas Pega, JD (Joint Director) of the Education Department Shri SP Sharma, JD of the Agriculture Department Shri Pranaya Gurung, and other officials.
This is an initiative under the flagship programme of the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the theme of the Abhiyan is “Catch the Rain- where it falls- when it falls.” The Jal Shakti Kendra Soreng has its website page incorporated in District website which aims to serve as a “Knowledge Centre” for disseminating information related to water conservation techniques. The Human Resource of the Jal Shakti Kendra, Soreng include Shri Sonam Tshering Bhutia (Senior Technical Officer), Shri Suren Kumar Thapa (Technical Officer 1), Smt. Annie Jogi (Technical Officer 2) & Shri Reuel Subba (Data Entry Operator).
The ADC (Development) Shri Gaayas Pega provided an overview of the guidelines of the Jal Shakti Kendra and mentioned that Village Water Sanitation Committees have been formed in all 36 Gram Panchayat Units (GPUs) of Soreng District. The objective of the Jal Shakti Kendra is to provide technical guidance and serve as a Centre for disseminating information related to water conservation techniques.
Mission Amrit Sarovar:
Water is one of the most important natural resources. It is an invaluable gift from nature to the entire human race. Two-third of the earth is covered with water, but only two to three percent of available water is usable. Today, many countries of the world, including India, are facing acute water crisis. Realizing the same problem, Hon’ble Prime Minister has called for the construction of 75 Amrit Sarovars (ponds) in each district of the country. Amrit Sarovars will play an important role in increasing the availability of water, both on surface and under-ground. Development of Amrit Sarovars is also an apt symbol of constructive actions, dedicated to the country on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, marking 75 years of Independence from colonial rule, that create sustainable and long term productive assets, beneficial to both the sentient beings and environment.
Objective of Mission Amrit Sarovar is “construction/development of at least 75 Amrit Sarovar (ponds) in every district of the country”. Each Amrit Sarovar will have pondage area of minimum of 1 acre (0.4 hectare) with water holding capacity of about 10,000 cubic meter. In soreng district we have sanctioned and completed 40 amrit sarovar works.
‘Dhara Vikas’, a Climate Change adaptation initiative by Rural Development Department is entrusted with the responsibility to provide drinking water supply in the rural areas of the state. It is very testing task, as we have to work in extremely challenging physical landscape of the mid-hills (900 m -3000 m ASL) with scattered households on the fragile slopes. Glaciers and snow-fed rivers flow much below in the valleys with no scope for utilization. The provision for the water is thus met by tapping water from small springs, streams, and lakes. According to the Sikkim First, an economic and political journal, about 65,000 (nearly 80%) of the state’s rural households depend on springs for drinking water and irrigation. Until the springs were perennial, our task was only to manage the distribution system. However, due ever growing demand for water due population change and rapid transformation in land use and land cover on these restricted cultivable stretches in the facial expression of climate change has exerted immense pressure on the limited water resources. Most of the springs are drying up or becoming seasonal leading to acute water scarcity during the dry season especially from December to May. According to Meteorological Department, rainfall as a principal source of natural recharge for these aquifer systems in itself is undergoing change wherein we are experiencing reduction in number of rainy days. Well-distributed rainfall in the form of drizzles spread over number of months is now received in the form of heavy down pour in few months. Thus, difference in the volume of water flowing down to the river during the dry season and the rainy season is commonly several times more resulting in too-little and too-much syndrome.
The outcome of the prevailing situation has directly affected the women and children living in the rural areas as they have to spent best part of their time fetching water for household needs. This also has affected the agricultural practices and livestock management. The impact is apparently on their economic condition, health, and hygene at household level and on rural schools and other institutions.