Efforts afoot to revive traditional water sources: Lal Singh

Kathua, Mar 7: Minister for Forests, Environment & Ecology, Choudhary Lal Singh has said Government is making all out efforts to revive traditional water sources and introduce modern methods of water conservation in the State.
The Minister was speaking at a Constituency Level Advocacy workshop on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene organized by National Development Foundation and sponsored by Communication and Capacity Development Unit(CCDU), Deptt of PHE, I&FC at Basohli, here today.
The Minister informed that the campaign for conservation of water has been taken to Panchayat level for creating awareness at gross roots level. He said cleanliness and conservation of water bodies would pave the way for improving hygiene and sanitation.
Expressing concern over shrinking of water resources due to human greed and negligence, the Minister regretted that this is happening in a country where people revere rivers and streams as divine entities. He appealed to the masses to contribute towards ensuring safe water and proper sanitation.
Meanwhile, Choudhary Lal Singh exhorted upon the PHE department functionaries to work diligently to provide safe potable water to the populace of Basohli. He also asked them to ensure regular maintenance of the filtration plants for providing safe and hygienic drinking water to the people.
The Minister informed that Government has earmarked Rs 1 crore to facilitate proper disposal of Solid and Liquid Waste in Basohli Town. He said that under the project, the Government has provided two dustbins to each household for segregated collection of bio and solid waste. He said two auto rickshaws with trolley have been put in service for door to door waste lifting and dumping at the identified place.
For improving power scenario in Basholi, Choudhary Lal Singh said that Government has identified 7500 kanal land in the area for establishing solar power plant which would generate 200-MW electricity to meet local demand. He further informed that State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has prepared a detailed project report of Rs 3.5 crore for construction of its office in the town.
The Minister said that efforts are afoot to develop eco-tourism infrastructure around the Ranjit Sagar Lake to project it as a major tourist destination.
Rajiv Khajuria, Founder Emeritus National Development Foundation, presented key note address highlighting different aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene. He informed that National Development Foundation with the support of CCDU has launched a massive campaign in Jammu, Samba and Kathua to educate people about the conservation of water. He said the organization is involving Gram Sabhas, Village Water and Sanitation Committees and students in the campaign.
A cultural programme, highlighting the message about water, sanitation and hygiene was presented on the occasion. People present on the occasion were also made aware about personal hygiene and water testing through Field Testing kits.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Ravi Kesar, Chairman SPCB B Sidhartha Kumar, Director Social Forestry Ashwani Gupta, Director Environment and Remote Sensing O P Sharma and other senior officers and officials of the Forest department and its wings were also present on the occasion.
Later, the Minister also laid foundation for 100-bedded Girls Hostel at Basholi being constructed under RMSA.