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Secretary of the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Debashree Mukherjee told Meghalaya News 24 said the minor and irrigation census that is starting this year will have mapping of all the springs in the country.
Appreciating Meghalaya for taking a lead role, she said Meghalaya has mapped around 59 thousand springs which are also monitored.
“This time, when we do the Water census, minor and irrigation census, for the first time we are also doing the census of all the springs in the country. Meghalaya will show us the way, they have already mapped 59, thousand springs and monitor those springs regularly and I think, Meghalaya is a front runner in that area,” Mukherjee said.
Stating that this year in water bodies’ census, special focus will be given on the ground water.
“How do you manage your ground water, kind of regulatory structures, how do you ensure that you map your springs, monitor your springs don’t dry up particularly for the hill states,” she added.
In the last minor irrigation census there was the census of water bodies that was the first census of water bodies.
Last year, the Ministry released the report of India’s first water bodies’ census, a comprehensive data base of ponds, tanks, lakes, and reservoirs in the country. The census was conducted in 2018-19, and enumerated more than 2.4 million water bodies across all states and Union Territories.
Further, the Secretary Jal Shakti said, to raise the groundwater level, increase water storage capacity and meet the challenges posed by climate change, India is implementing the world’s largest dam rehabilitation program.
“There is one of the world’s largest dam rehabilitation program. We have enacted the dam safety act, state has set up the state dam safety organisations but there is a long way to go in terms were able to ensure that our damns and large water infrastructure are fit to face the challenges faced by the climate change,” she added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, the state is working very closely with NESAC (North Eastern Space Applications Center), the space agency here and they are monitoring the different springs, reservoirs, forests, agriculture activities and mining activities in the state.
Further, the CM announced that Meghalaya Government is coming up with a Data Innovation Center which will help the state in mapping and monitoring of water bodies and springs by the use of technology and Artificial Intelligence.