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River linking, irrigation on agenda at 'Jal Manthan' meet next week

PTI 15 Nov 2014, 12:25:55 PM IST

New Delhi: Issues of inter-linking of rivers, repair and restoration of water bodies and water management will feature as part of deliberations at a meet starting here next week which aims to streamline policies to make them more people-friendly and responsive to the needs of the states.

Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharati will inaugurate the three-day ‘Jal Manthan' conference on November 20 to hold wide-ranging consultations with state irrigation ministers and a range of other stakeholders.

“The focus will be on refining policies of the ministry to make them more people friendly and responsive to the needs of the states,” the Water Resources Ministry said in a release today.

The second day of the conference will be devoted to issues related to the inter-linking of rivers as the programme has evoked “strong reactions” from civil society and environmental groups, the ministry said, adding that it would offer a platform for addressing the concerns raised in this regard.  

On the first day, deliberations will be held on the three flagship schemes being implemented by the ministry—the accelerated irrigation benefit programme, repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies and flood management programme.

New proposals, like incentivising states for water sector reforms, India water resources information system and hydrology project-III, would also be introduced, the statement said.

Bharati wants to to hold consultations with various stakeholders engaged in water resource development and management to achieve synergy of water resource development with environment, wildlife and various social and cultural practices.

About 300 experts are expected to attend the conference.