NRIs coming forward to fund restoration of tanks: Harish Rao

Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao has stated that many NRIs are coming forward to fund the restoration of tanks in the State.

Speaking at a meeting on Mission Kakatiya, organised by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) here on Sunday, he said about 35 NRIs had already come forward to fund the restoration of tanks under the “own your tank” concept. The government was ready to name such tanks after the family members of those funding the work, he said.

He noted that the University of Michigan, US, had come forward to do an impact study on Mission Kakatiya with its own funding of about USD 100,000. A professor of the university and four students will undertake the study, he said.

The Minister alleged that minor irrigation tanks were either destroyed or encroached upon due to gross neglect by successive governments in combined Andhra Pradesh since 1956. The neglect was so glaring that details of many tanks were missing in revenue records.

Stating that the neglect of tanks was proving to be very costly, particularly in urban areas, the Minister warned of serious action against encroachers.

He explained that the restoration of tanks would reduce risk in agriculture and bring down farmers’ suicides. It would also increase lung space, create groundwater and solve problems of groundwater discharge.

The programme will be implemented with total transparency by providing details on the website and updating them regularly, he said.

Mr. Harish Rao stated that out of 9,662 tanks identified for restoration this year, the survey had been completed in the case of 5,000 tanks, estimates were prepared for over 4,000 tanks and tenders were called for about 3,000 tanks.

Source: The Hindu

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