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Effective water management to bring down poverty levels : CM

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Hyderabad | Saturday, Jun 20 2015 IST
 
As economic development is directly linked to the management of water resources for sustainable use and poverty alleviation, the Andhra Pradesh Government is focusing on bringing the ground-water level to a level between 3 to 8 metres.At a reviewing meeting on Primary Sector growth engines today at Secretariat, Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu asked officials from the Water Resources Department to devise a plan to bring the ground water level in the state to 8 metres.Make sure that the plan regulates and restricts water usage beyond 8 metres, he added.According to a report titled Impact of the Access to Ground Water on Rural Poverty and Conflict, rural poverty is 9-10 per cent higher in rural areas of India if the ground water level is beyond 8 metres. This report correlates the effect of groundwater access on rural poverty, an official statement said here.In this direction, the Chief Minister suggested the Water Resources Department to analyse water levels across all the reservoirs, tanks, canals/water bodies in the state and update the data online.Fix sensors at all water bodies so that we obtain real-time information on the water available village-wise, mandal-wise and district-wise in the state. This way, we can calculate our usage and manage water effectively, he added. The Chief Minister said the department could also monitor rainfall in each zone and compare the data with the predicted rainfall in that zone. This will give us a picture about the rainfall assessment across different zones in the state, he said, adding that it will also help in flood management. To improve ground water table, the Chief Minister directed the department to install automatic Piezometres and update the levels online within two months. He also asked them to geo-tag borewells, tanks, canals and all water bodies in order to finish the availability of surface and ground water within two months. Water-mapping and water auditing has to take place regularly, he added.On a priority basis, focus on recharging tanks, borewells in mandals that are categorized under - over-exploited, critical and semi-critical and bring them on par with water-sufficient mandals, the Chief Minister said.The state government, as part its double-digit growth strategy, has identified agriculture and allied activities as growth engines including agriculture, horticulture, livestock and fisheries. Given that effective water management will improve agriculture yield, the Chief Minister said the government will form a sub-committee (comprising of agriculture minister, water resources minister and finance minister) for farmer welfare and meet every month. The funds can be utilized through the Farmers Empowerment Corporation (FEC), he added.Through Mee Bhoomi portal and Aadhar linkage, the agriculture department will have to then enlist farmer-wise crop data which will also be categorized into village, mandal and district-wise crop data. With regard to fisheries, the Chief Minister asked the department to bring the contribution of fisheries to GSDP to 20 per cent per annum. The state is witnessing good rainfall this year. Therefore, pisciculture should be encouraged on a large scale, he added.Even livestocks contribution to GSDP should increase, the Chief Minister said and stated that Andhra Pradesh should have earmarked clusters/hubs for crops identified as growth engines, the Chief Minister also suggested having organic hubs. Given that the state is unique in having the maximum number of varieties of horticulture crops in the state, the Chief Minister said that horticultures contribution to the GDP should increase to 33 per cent. The government has identified Banana, Chillies, Tomato, Mango, Lemon, Papaya, Batavia and Cashewnut as growth engines.The Chief Minister suggested adding coconut and cocoa to the list and to increase the crop cultivation in Andhra Pradesh. The Chief Minister also suggested officials to study the Kerala model of training to farmers in order to maximise production. UNI KNR RG RSA 2320

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0377-189019.Xml

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