IEP Chandigarh, June 30
Haryana Government while striving to achieve Prime Minister, Sh. Narendra Modi’s vision of ensuring adequate availability and sustainable water management in the State has planned to cover 1,77,323 acres of land under the waterlogged land reclamation action plan 2023-25. Out of this land, 5000 acres will be brought under aquaculture.As per the plan the central districts of Haryana namely Rohtak, Jhajjar, part of Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Hisar, Jind, Fatehabad, Sirsa, Sonipat, Nuh and Palwal that are experiencing a rise in water levels proposed multiple measures like vertical drainage, subsurface drainage, saline water aquaculture and green manuring would be introduced for controlling waterlogging. Notably, topographical location and finer Aeolian sediment disposition is the main reason for water logging in these districts.Chief Minister, Sh. Manohar Lal is known to take numerous first-of-its-kind initiatives which contain targets with actionable and monitorable outcomes along with the key performance indicators delineated for each proposed activity and intervention.Time and again the Manohar Lal-led government has launched several water management plans. Mera Pani Meri Virasat, the recent introduction of Integrated Water Resources Action Plan 2023-25, subsidies on adopting micro-irrigation entail providing a framework for achieving long-term objectives of sustainable water resources in the state.Being an agrarian state, Agriculture is an important sector of Haryana’s economy and the highest water-consuming sector. As per the official data, the water demand for the Agriculture sector has been calculated for the year 2021, as 30,05,514 crore litres for the cropped area of 152 lakh acres, which is estimated to increase by 30,34,554 crore litres in the year 2025. Similarly, the demand of water in the industry and infrastructure development sector was 1,04,418 crore litres in the year 2021 and by the year 2025, the demand for water in this sector is estimated to increase to 1,46,518 crore litres.Further, in the year 2021, the water demand for power generation was 19,127 crore litres, which is estimated to increase to 22,107 crore litres by the year 2025. Apart from this, the water demand for fisheries, forest and wildlife, establishment and institutional water sector and domestic has been estimated to be 32,251 crore litres, 12,161 crore litres, 14,903 crore litres and 1, 35,625 crore litres respectively by the year 2025.Presently the water availability in Haryana is 30,57,298 crore litres, while the demand is 44,59,976 crore litres. To bridge the gap of 14 lakh crore litres between the demand and availability of water, a water action plan for 2023-25 has been formulated under the guidance of the Chief Minister. Before preparing this action plan, as per the directions of the Chief Minister, the Haryana Water Resources Authority prepared a district-wise report after studying the availability of underground water at the village level. Haryana is probably the first state in the country, which has prepared water management plans at the village level.The Chief Minister firmly believes that one has to focus on a 3-R strategy i.e. Reduce, Recycle and Reuse to achieve the water management and sustainability target. Dependence on freshwater can be reduced by reusing water. Apart from this, the state government is also running schemes to irrigate the fields through micro irrigation and underground pipelines to save water.In a bid to encourage farmers to adopt the sowing of paddy through the DSR technique, the Chief Minister launched another subsidy scheme namely Mera Pani-Meri Virasat. Under this scheme, farmers opting for crops like maize, millet and jowar instead of paddy are getting an incentive of Rs 7,000 per acre and financial assistance of Rs 4,000 per acre for sowing of paddy through the DSR technique. This decision of the Chief Minister has yielded positive results.The Chief Minister also took another unique initiative of interacting directly with the farmers through Kisan Samvad programmes. During this, he encourages the farmers of the paddy-dominated districts to sow alternative crops instead of paddy to save water. As a result, farmers saved 31,500 crore litres of water by direct sowing of paddy on 72,000 acres during Kharif-2022. The government gave an incentive amount of Rs 29.16 crore to such farmers. The Chief Minister has also announced a target of bringing 2 lakh acres of the area under direct sowing of paddy during the year 2023-24.