Jal Shakti Abhiyan implemented in 5,807 village panchayats in Tamil Nadu


The Tamil Nadu government has revealed that it has launched a Rs 1,000-crore mission, towards water conservation and will also implement the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in 5,807 village panchayats

The Tamil Nadu government is implementing the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, a campaign for water conservation, in 5,807 village panchayats spread over 249 rural blocks, official sources said, on October 24, 2019. They claimed the state is performing better than others, on construction of integrated water bodies and their management and has made rainwater harvesting a people’s movement.

TN recently launched a Rs 1,000-crore ‘Tamil Nadu Water Resources, Conservation and Augmentation Mission’, to rejuvenate water bodies with public participation. Another Rs 750 crores will be utilised from MGNREGS to standardise water tanks. Regarding the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, a central government programme to provide drinking water to every rural household by 2024, a senior official of the TN government said the state has already been providing piped water supply to 79,394 rural habitations. TN has established 548 combined water supply schemes and 1.14 lakh individual power pump schemes and associated distribution systems, officials said.

The Jal Shakti Mission is in its extended phase II, to cover states receiving the north-east monsoon rains. The campaign is being carried out from October 1 to November 30, 2019, with a focus on water-stressed districts and blocks. Among other things, rainwater harvesting, maintenance and upkeep of ponds and village tanks and water conservation, will be highlighted. A team of officers from the Jal Shakti Ministry will visit and work with district administrations, to ensure water conservation.


TN CM urges centre not to approve Mekedatu reservoir project across Cauvery river

Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami has urged the centre to reject Karnataka’s proposal, to build a reservoir at Mekedatu, across the Cauvery river

October 11, 2019: Tamil Nadu has urged the centre against giving its nod for a reservoir across the Cauvery river at Mekedatu, following a fresh appeal by Karnataka. Tamil Nadu is opposed to Karnataka’s proposal to construct a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu in that state, saying it will be affected if the project takes shape. Chief minister K Palaniswami wrote to union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and his Environment Ministry counterpart Prakash Javadekar, reminding them of pending court cases in this matter. The letters dated October 9, 2019, were released by the state government on October 10, 2019.

He told them the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the Supreme Court ‘have found that the existing storage facilities available in the Cauvery Basin are adequate for storing and distributing water to the lower riparian states, as per the monthly schedule prescribed by it’. “Therefore, the proposal of Karnataka to build a reservoir, is ex-facie untenable and ought to be rejected outright,” he said. Further, the concurrence of Tamil Nadu and that of other co-basin states has not been obtained for the project, he added.


Plan to interlink Cauvery, Godavari rivers

The centre was preparing a detailed project report, for interlinking the Godavari and Cauvery rivers, Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami has said

October 9, 2019: A detailed project report (DPR) was being prepared by the centre, on interlinking the Godavari and Cauvery rivers, after talks with the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments, Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami revealed, on October 8, 2019. “The centre has already taken steps on the issue,” he said. The CM was talking to reporters after calling on Telangana governor and former Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan.

On reports that the Karnataka government has moved the Supreme Court, for constructing a dam at Mekedatu across the river Cauvery, Palaniswami recalled that the Environment Ministry had not given its nod for it. He pointed out that the case filed by the Tamil Nadu government, against the construction of the dam, was pending in the Supreme Court. “Through letters and also via memorandum submitted to the Water Resources Ministry and prime minister (Narendra Modi) in person, I have taken up the issue, requesting that a dam should not be constructed across Cauvery. Based on that, the Water Resources Ministry issued a statement, on July 19 that the dam should not be constructed at Mekedatu,” he said.


TN’s water issues with Kerala 

The Tamil Nadu chief minister has said that committees, with officials from TN and Kerala, would be set up, to take steps to resolve river water issues between the two states, in two months September 30, 2019: Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami, on September 28, 2019, asserted that steps would be taken to resolve river water issues, including the Mullaiperiyar in Kerala, in two months. Palaniswami, who held a meeting with his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, on Spetember 25, 2019, over differences on water-sharing, said committees of officials from both the states were being set up, to hammer out a solution.

He said Tamil Nadu had issues with the neighbouring state over Mullaiperiyar, Shenbagavalli dam, Pandiyaru-Punnampuzha, Neyyar and Parambikulam Aliyar. To end such rows and get water for drinking and irrigation purposes, the chief minister said he had written to Vijayan and he was invited for talks. He asserted that pending issues would be sorted out, adding these can be resolved, ‘only by constituting committees’. There would be one panel of senior officials in each of the two states – Tamil Nadu and Kerala –  and they would work in tandem, to identify issues and find a solution, he said. “I would like to tell you that in about two months, we will take steps to resolve the issues,” he said.

The work for building a check dam across river Kollidam (a tributary of Cauvery) at Aadanur Kumaramangalam has begun and it was on, he said. A study was being carried out to identify locations to build dams from Mettur to Kollidam. A detailed project report was being prepared to construct one such facility near Karur, as part of phase-one and work would start in about four months, he said. Palaniswami said a team of retired engineers was also working to identify locations to conserve surplus water and would soon submit a report to the government.


Chennai to get water from Krishna river 

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami has said that Chennai may soon ‘receive uninterrupted and safe drinking water’, as Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy had agreed to release 8 tmc ft of water from the Krishna river

August 12, 2019: Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami, on August 10, 2019, said his Andhra Pradesh counterpart YS Jaganmohan Reddy, had agreed to release 8 tmc ft of water from the Krishna river, following a plea. One tmcft of water denotes one thousand million cubic ft. The release of water would benefit the parched city of Chennai and the water was expected to be received ‘soon,’ the chief minister said.

“Let me share the happy news that when the water reaches here, the people of Chennai will receive uninterrupted and safe drinking water,” he said and thanked Reddy for acceding to Tamil Nadu’s request. On August 9, 2019, state ministers SP Velumani and D Jayakumar had met Reddy in Vijayawada and handed over a letter to him, on behalf of Palaniswami, requesting immediate release of water from the Krishna river through the Telugu Ganga canal, to overcome the grave drinking water scarcity in the city. Velumani said Andhra Pradesh could not earlier release water, as there was a ‘dearth of storage.’ The situation was favourable now, due to good inflow into Srisailam dam, he had said.

See also: India facing ‘extremely high’ water stress: Report

On August 9, Reddy’s office had said he had directed the Water Resources Department authorities, to ensure the release of water immediately. As per the agreement between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the former normally releases at least two tmc ft of water to meet Chennai’s drinking water needs, official sources said.

Appeal for rainwater conservation

With the state experiencing a severe water crisis this summer, Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswamy has appealed to citizens to save rainwater August 9, 2019: As Tamil Nadu faced one of its worst water crisis this year, chief minister K Palaniswamy, on August 8, 2019, appealed to citizens to save rain water, reminding them of the ‘grand’ rainwater harvesting (RWH) scheme ushered in by the late J Jayalalithaa, in 2001. “The credit for enacting a law to save rainwater, goes to Amma (J Jayalalithaa). I request every individual to volunteer, to implement this grand scheme of Amma, to ensure copious availability of water for the betterment of themselves and help Tamil Nadu remain a prosperous state,” the chief minister said in a video message.

Tamil Nadu, especially capital Chennai, experienced one of its worst water crises this summer, with a weak north-east monsoon in 2018 failing to fill up the reservoirs feeding the city. Tankers have been pressed to quench citizens’ thirst, even as rains of late have brought some respite, though all eyes lie on the ensuing north-east monsoon (October-December) that brings the bulk of rainfall to the state.

 

The RWH scheme was launched by Jayalalithaa as chief minister in the year 2001, following a similar dry patch then, wherein she made it mandatory for homes and other buildings to set up the necessary infrastructure for rainwater harvesting.


Tracking Chennai’s severe water crisis

A train carrying 2.5 million litres of water arrived from Jolapettai in Vellore district to Chennai, which has been grappling with an acute water crisis over the past few months, officials said

July 15, 2019: A train from Jolapettai in Vellore district, with 50 tank wagons (BTPN), carrying 50,000 litres of water in each of them, reached the filling station at the Integral Coach Factory Yard in Chennai’s Villivakkam, on the afternoon of July 12, 2019. Around 100 inlet pipes installed near the railway tracks would be used to discharge 2.5 million litres of water in all the wagons, to be sent to a treatment plant, after passing through a conduit, an official of Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board said. “After treatment, it would be sent for distribution. This arrangement has been made for the next six months until the (advent of the) north-east monsoon,” the official said.

See also: HC stays NGT’s Rs 100-crore penalty on TN government, over pollution in water bodies

Chennai is facing a daily water deficit of at least 200 million litres and the four reservoirs supplying to the city have run dry. Municipal administration minister SP Velumani said the Tamil Nadu government would bring in 10 million litres of water per day (MLD) through rail, from Jolarpettai. “We have planned to bring in 10 MLD of water and have allocated Rs 66 crores for the purpose,” he said. The government was in talks with the Railways, to bring down the cost of transportation, he said.

Meanwhile, DMK legislator AP Nandakumar, representing Anaicut in Vellore district, said in the assembly that the party had no objection to water being supplied to Chennai from Jolarpettai. At the same time, additional quantum of water should be pumped for areas under the Vellore Combined Drinking Water Scheme, to ensure that people of his district were not affected. To this, Velumani replied that under the VCDWS, being implemented at a cost of Rs 1,295 crores, about 34 million litres per day (MLD) was being obtained in Vellore district and only a quantum of 10 MLD is supplied to Chennai. “People of Vellore district will not be affected by supply of water to Chennai,” he said.


TN plans to recharge water bodies 

With Chennai facing acute water shortage and forecast of more trouble in the coming years, the Tamil Nadu government has said that it will take up a project to use treated sewage water, for replenishing water bodies

July 12, 2019: Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami, on July 11, 2019, informed the state assembly that a detailed project report will be prepared, for recharging water bodies in and around Chennai with recycled water, obtained after cleaning up sewage through a three-stage treatment process. Treating and recycling sewage had been included as part of the government’s ‘Vision 2023’ document, announced by former chief minister, late J Jayalalithaa. To elevate the water table and find permanent and sustainable solutions to increase water resources, the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) will work on a DPR. “The CMWSSB will prepare a DPR for letting recycled water in water bodies, obtained after a three-stage treatment of 260 million litres sewage,” he said.

See also: CSIR-CMERI develops technology for quality drinking water

His announcement comes amid water shortage being experienced in different parts of the state, especially in the capital city. Palaniswami said a policy will also be prepared, for setting up a grid comprising a pipeline network for reusing reclaimed water (after treatment of sewage) for several purposes and this will also help prevent pollution of water bodies. Also, a DPR will be prepared to prevent mix-up of sewage in water bodies in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Salem and Tiruchirappalli and explore the feasibility of using recycled water for multiple purposes, including industrial use and replenishing groundwater, he said. For taking forward the ongoing clean up exercise of Cooum and Adyar rivers and the Buckingham Canal in Chennai, between 2019-2023, it has been estimated to cost about Rs 2,371 crores and this plan will be implemented, he said.


Madras HC on protests over water crisis

The Madras HC has asked the Tamil Nadu government not to prevent protests highlighting the water woes in the state

July 1, 2019: The Madras High Court, on June 29, 2019, directed the Chennai commissioner of police to permit Arappor Iyakkam, an NGO, to hold a demonstration highlighting the present water crisis in the city and the causes for it, on June 30, 2019, near Valluvarkottam. While permitting the demonstration, the court directed the Tamil Nadu government, not to prevent protests highlighting the water woes in the state. “The issue that is sought to be projected during protest, is a burning issue, about which the people must be made aware. The government is making all its efforts to ensure that water is supplied to the nook and corners of the city. However, it is important to realise as to why we have reached the present state of affairs, as a result of various water bodies that were allowed to be encroached in the past and virtually destroying the ecosystem,” justice N Anand Venkatesh said.

See also: Five-year housing construction ban, to deal with water crisis, is ‘unrealistic’: CREDAI Bengaluru

Noting that the issue requires serious consideration, he said awareness must be spread in the state and that the NGO was one of the pioneers in it. The court also said any government in power should never take these issues as an affront and must make efforts, to improve the situation and work with associations that are interested in the conservation of water bodies. Awareness is the only way through which the situation can be brought under control and therefore, protests of this nature should never be stopped, it observed. On June 20, 2019, the Chennai commissioner of police had rejected the NGO’s application seeking permission for the protest, on the grounds that another organisation had sought permission on the very same day and that it would unnecessarily cause a law and order problem. Aggrieved, the petitioner approached the high court. Challenging the denial order, the NGO submitted that none of these reasons would stand the test of the law. By virtue of being denied to conduct the hunger strike, the fundamental right of the petitioner, for speech and expression guaranteed by the constitution, was being denied, it said.


TN water crisis: CM seeks Modi’s intervention over Mekedatu reservoir on Cauvery river

The Tamil Nadu government has written to prime minister Narendra Modi, asking him to intervene and reject outright the Karnataka government’s proposal, for the Mekedatu reservoir on the Cauvery river June 25, 2019: The Tamil Nadu government, on June 24, 2019, sought the centre’s ‘urgent’ intervention on the Mekedatu reservoir issue, saying Karnataka seeking environmental clearance for the project was in violation of an award of the Cauvery water disputes tribunal and a Supreme Court judgment. In a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi, TN chief minister K Palaniswami requested him to direct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, to ‘reject outright’ Karnataka’s proposal.

Palaniswami sought Modi’s ‘urgent personal intervention’, to deny permission to the proposal of Karnataka’s Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Niyamita seeking environmental clearance for the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Drinking water project. The neighbouring state seeking such clearance was in ‘utter violation’ of the final order of the Cauvery water disputes tribunal and a judgment of the apex court in February 2018, he said.

See also: Here’s what housing societies must do to save water

Palaniswami said the Tamil Nadu government has been conveying its strong objections and has been urging the centre to reject outright and return the detailed project report (DPR) of the Mekedatu project. The proposed project was not in conformity with the final order of the tribunal and the top court judgment, since it is not a designated reservoir for the release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, in terms of the tribunal’s final order as modified by the apex court, he said. Karnataka has also not obtained prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and other co-basin states, he added. Cauvery being a deficit basin, construction of any such project in any place by upper riparian states, would drastically affect the lower riparian states in getting due share of water, he said. The chief minister said he mentioned these facts in a memorandum submitted to Modi during their meeting in Delhi, on June 15, 2019. He requested the prime minister to direct the environment ministry to issue instructions to the authorities concerned, not to consider Karnataka’s proposal for grant of terms of reference to obtain environmental clearance for the project. “Further, the Ministry of Jal Shakthi may be directed to advise the central water commission to reject outright and return the DPR of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project of Karnataka and also not to accord any clearance to the above project, without obtaining the prior concurrence of government of Tamil Nadu and of other co-basin states,” he added.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had recently met union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and sought early nod for the proposed Rs 5,912-crore reservoir in Mekedatu on the Cauvery river. Kumaraswamy has said there was no need to seek consent from Tamil Nadu for the proposed project.


Water to be ferried to Chennai by train from Jolarpet, says CM

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami has said that 10 million litres of water would be transported from Jolarpet in Vellore district by train, to augment the supply in Chennai, over a period of six months

June 24, 2019: Water-starved Chennai is all set to get some relief, as Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami, on June 21, 2019, said 10 million litres would be transported from Jolarpet in Vellore district by train, to augment supply. This initiative will be carried on for six months and Rs 65 crores has been set apart for the purpose, he said. Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has been allocated Rs 158.42 crores for water distribution in the city, he said.

Other state agencies, including the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, have been provided Rs 108.32 crores, to ensure water supply in other parts of the state, he said, while addressing a press conference at the Secretariat. On the water shortage and steps to augment supplies, he said that despite the Poondi, Chembarambakkam, Sholavaram and Red Hills reservoirs having dried up, supplies were being made through multiple avenues like groundwater sources, abandoned quarries and desalination plants. A total of 525 MLD was being supplied every day, he said. See also: Major drive to revive wetlands, ponds, in Noida

Senior officials have been assigned to monitor all zones in the city, to ensure adequate supply and 800 tankers were making 9,800 trips daily to various areas, he said. Also, Veeranam lake (Cuddalore district) water is also being brought to Chennai, he added. “As far as Chennai is concerned, the government is providing water as quickly as possible,” he said. Steps have been taken to ensure water supply to villages and other regions too and funds were also allocated well before the start of the Lok Sabha elections, to ensure proper water distribution. Also, work was followed up after the polls, he noted.

On work to repair and strengthen water bodies, to increase storage, he said work was already on. As regards 39,202 lakes in Tamil Nadu, he reeled out statistics to say that desilting work was being undertaken periodically under the ‘Kudimaramathu’, (participation of local people scheme) plan, to increase the storage level in such water bodies. Strengthening work, including desilting initiatives, have already begun in three of the four reservoirs. With respect to the Poondi reservoir, he said an individual has moved the court and desiliting work would begin, after getting environmental clearance. A government press release, meanwhile, said the chief minister ordered an additional Rs 200 crores for drinking water-related initiatives, following a review meeting held to assess the water shortage.


TN seeks package of Rs 1,000 crores

Amid a severe drinking water crisis in Tamil Nadu, deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam has sought a special package of Rs 1,000 crores from the centre, to augment irrigation structures in drought-hit areas

June 24, 2019: Participating in the pre-budget consultation meeting with state finance ministers, chaired by union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi, on June 21, 2019, Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, requested the centre to release Rs 1,000 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. The special package assistance would be used to augment irrigation structures in drought-prone areas, to address the agrarian distress and drinking water crisis, similar to the allocation made to Maharashtra, Panneerselvam said in the speech.

On the prevailing water crisis in Tamil Nadu, he said, while there were ‘severe drought conditions’ country-wide, its impact was significantly more in the state. “The vagaries of the monsoon, climatic change, unending inter-state river water disputes and fast depleting groundwater, have all led to an unprecedented water crisis in Tamil Nadu,” he said. Requesting the centre to consider launching a movement for water conservation, he said, there was a need to significantly augment irrigation structures, through river system approach, for sustainable water management. Panneerselvam said Tamil Nadu formulated a project at a cost of Rs 17,600 crores, for modernising the Grand Anicut Canal system and had forwarded a detailed project report to the centre, seeking financial aid. “I urge the union government to make suitable allocation in the upcoming union budget, for this project,” he said. Panneerselvam also thanked the central government for expressing its commitment to implement the Godavari-Cauvery linkage project and requested the centre to take up this project on a priority basis and provide ‘necessary budget allocations’.

While calling for a higher investment in combined water supply schemes, instead of individual power pump schemes, he said the allocation for the centrally-sponsored National Rural Drinking Water Programme had been reduced drastically. “The union government may consider to enhance the allocation substantially, to improve the drinking water supply on sustainable basis in rural areas,” he said.

See also: Odisha seeks 5 lakh PMAY houses for cyclone Fani-hit people Panneerselvam also reiterated his earlier demand from the centre, to provide an additional allocation of Rs 6,000 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) for construction of two lakh climate-resilient houses to those affected by cyclone Gaja in Tamil Nadu. “Inclusion of this announcement in the budget speech will greatly relieve the pain of the people who have suffered the fury of Gaja cyclone,” he added. On the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I project, Panneerselvam said it was a resounding success and requested the centre to sanction Phase-II of the project, considering the public demand to expand the metro rail network. “I request that this clearance be expedited and an announcement be made in the budget speech,” he said. Referring to the reduction in the allocations for major schemes in the interim union budget 2019-20, including the Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural), PMAY (Rural), National Social Assistance Programme, he requested the centre to enhance the allocations for these schemes in the ensuing union budget.


Tamil Nadu will have to rely on groundwater sources till October: CM

Amidst the ongoing water crisis in parts of the state, the Tamil Nadu government said it was largely dependent on groundwater to meet the requirements, till the onset of the north-east monsoon in October June 19, 2019: Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami, on June 18, 2018, assured that while drought and deficient monsoon had resulted in depletion of groundwater levels, the issue was not as big as was being made out, especially in the media. He urged the media not to create an ‘illusion’ of water scarcity, based on a few reports. “The (north-east) monsoon will arrive only by October-November. Till then, we have to meet the requirements only from groundwater sources,” he said.

The north-east monsoon brings the bulk of rainfall for Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, which is facing a very severe water shortage. Krishna water from Kandaleru in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, was also not being realised in its full capacity, the chief minister said. “All steps are being taken to supply water. The severe drought and deficient monsoon (in the previous years) have led to depletion in groundwater levels. However, drinking water is being supplied through tankers. People are using this water to even wash clothes,” he said.

See also: Virat Kohli fined for wastage of drinking water at his Gurugram home

He said, although the lakes feeding Chennai have dried up, steps were being taken to ensure supply of drinking water, with efforts to augment it from Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district. People should also understand the situation and cooperate, the chief minister said. “The media should not create an illusion of water scarcity using some stray incidents,” he said.

In one of the worst summers, taps in parts of the state, including Chennai have gone dry, affecting citizens and corporates, alike. While people queuing up with plastic pots in the city has become a common sight, IT companies are going in for various measures, including work-from-home to stave off the problem.


TN to form monitoring committee

The Tamil Nadu government has said that it will set up a monitoring committee, to tackle the acute water scarcity in the state June 18, 2019: With acute water shortage prevailing in the state, the Tamil Nadu government will set up a monitoring committee to take up water supply-related issues, Municipal Administration and Rural Development minister, SP Velumani said, on June 17, 2019. He chaired a review meeting along with senior government officials, to study the steps needed to address the water crisis.

Talking to reporters later, Velumani said he had directed officials to form a monitoring committee, led by a senior officer, who will visit every street in each zone and ensure water supply. He said water supply had been stepped up from the earlier 450 MLD (million litres per day) to 525 MLD and it will be continued till the onset of monsoon. October-November is the monsoon season in Tamil Nadu.

See also: HC stays NGT’s Rs 100-crore penalty on TN government, over pollution in water bodies Velumani said the government was providing water supply and other related issues were being addressed ‘simultaneously’. He rejected reports that some IT companies were directing its employees to work from home due to the water shortage, saying it was a routine practice by companies to ask their employees to work from home. “If some IT companies are facing water supply issues from private water tankers, we are ready to solve them,” he said.


TN seeks Rs 5,000 crores from centre, to resolve acute water crisis in state

Tamil Nadu, which is facing an acute water shortage, has sought over Rs 5,000 crores from the centre, for various drinking water supply schemes in the state

June 12, 2019: The Tamil Nadu government, on June 11, 2019, requested the centre to sanction over Rs 5,000 crores, for various drinking water supply schemes in the state, including a desalination plant for Villupuram district. The plea comes in the backdrop of the state facing an acute water shortage, especially the capital city of Chennai, with water managers resorting to various measures like supply through tankers, to manage the situation. SP Velumani, the minister for municipal administration, presented a memorandum to union minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, in New Delhi on June 11, 2019 and sought sanction for projects totalling Rs 5,398 crores. The proposed projects include a desalination plant and connected pipeline works with a capacity of 100 MLD to Villupuram and Tindivanam municipalities and Marakkanam and Vikkaravandi town panchayat, estimated at about Rs 2,000 crores, the memorandum said. The initiative will benefit about 16.78 lakh people, the memorandum released by the state government said.

See also: Chennai-Salem Expressway: SC refuses to stay Madras HC’s quashing of land acquisition Other proposals submitted for central sanction, include those for combined water supply schemes and creation of rainwater harvesting structures, for improving the water resources, it said. Various other drought-mitigation works by rural local bodies, were also proposed. The state government pointed out that Tamil Nadu faced an ‘unprecedented’ drought in 2016, with the subsequent two years yielding only deficit rainfall. Due to no monsoon, the local bodies were facing challenges in supplying drinking water, following depletion of the water table and drying up of water sources in the respective areas, it said. “In order to mitigate the situation, immediate drought relief work like sinking of new borewells, desilting of open wells, rejuvenation of water supply schemes and water supply through tanker lorries are being taken up by the state on a war footing, with the available resources. As an innovative measure, abandoned quarries have been utilised to draw and supply water to the public after scientifically testing and treating the water,” it added. Further, as part of its waste-management activities, Tamil Nadu proposed setting up of micro-composting centres during the year 2019-20 in peri-urban or bigger village panchayat and sought a sanction of Rs 300 crores for this.

What is Jal Shakti Abhiyan?

The government launched the ambitious Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) which is an intensive water conservation campaign built on citizen participation to quicken the pace of water conservation across the country.

Which are the government bodies working towards the goal of water conservation?

In May 2019, the Ministry of Jal Shakti was launched to check water crisis in various Indian states. Various ministries were also reorganised such as the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation as well as the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

What is the Jal Jeevan Mission?

The Jal Jeevan Mission will ensure that all rural households will be supplied with piped water supply by 2024.

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