Chhattisgarh has added another feather in its cap vis-a-vis water conservation and rejuvenation of water resources, as two of its districts have been selected for awards by the Jal Shakti Ministry for undertaking projects to revive and replenish rivers and other water bodies.
Bilaspur district has been selected for the first prize at the national level in the East Under Revival of River category while Surajpur district has got appreciated in the East Under Water Conservation category.
The National Water Award for 2019 will be given to both the districts for the conservation and promotion of water resources by the Ministry in November.
"Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has given a new life to the rural economy in the state with his vision of saving the four icons of Chhattisgarh -- Narva, Garuva, Ghurwa, and Bari," a government statement said.
"Under the Narva programme, an important component of ambitious Suraji village scheme of the Chhattisgarh government, a large number of rivers and drains are being conserved and promoted in all districts to ensure availability of drinking, development of irrigation resources, and recharge of ground water," Baghel said, adding that it was giving a new life to the rural economy.
Under the Narva programme, 47 structures were constructed across various rivers and drains in Bilaspur district and 17.508 million cubic metres of waterlogging capacity was created. Water availability was ensured in rivers and drains up to a total of 152-km distance.
In all, 49 small reservoir schemes are under construction in the district to create 48.53 million cubic metres of waterlogging capacity. Due to this, water will be filled in total 181-km of rivers and drains.
The total length of 13 main rivers and drains flowing in Bilaspur district is 2,352.56 km, on which the Water Resources Department has constructed one large, one medium and 165 small reservoirs and 117 anicuts.
This way, the Department has revived rivers and drains totalling 1,146.90 km.
Of the 284 structures built on these water channels, 13 are in Kharang river, 5 in Shivnath, 13 in Lilagar, 17 in Arpa, 12 in Son river, 8 in Maniyari river, 12 in Ghulagha Nullah, and 5 in Gokna Nullah.
Small reservoirs and anicuts have been constructed at Tungan Nullah, 3 at Narmada Nullah, 3 at Champi Nullah, 4 at Alan Nullah, 5 at Jevas Nullah and 181 at local drains.
Similarly, the Dabri Mahabhiyan was launched to conserve water in Surajpur district and raise ground water level.
Structures like loose boulder check dams were constructed to revive the beneficiary-oriented Dabri, well-known small drains in addition to wells. About 7,000 Dabri and 4,200 wells were built in the last two years under the Dabri Mahabhiyan.
About 18,000 acres of land was irrigated due to this endeavour, with farmers now harvesting crops twice a year.
Work for reviving small and large drains was also started in the last two years. Structures like 29 earthen dams, 57 stop dams, 10 underground dykes and 10,000 contour trenches were constructed, due to which irrigation potential has increased for about 12,000 hectares of land. It has also led to increase in underground water level.
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