Chandigarh, July 13 – Haryana Government has been encouraging its farmers to adopt the crop diversification process and recently, a pilot project has been launched in seven blocks of the state for cultivation of maize, arhar and pulses instead of paddy crop so that water could be conserved by cultivating crops which need less water.

This information was given by the Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal in a function organised to release Calendar of Events for Gurugram, prepared by the District Administration for the Gurujal Project under the Government's flagship program ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ in Gurugram today.

He said that about 2,000 to 3,000 liters of water is required for one kg of paddy, whereas less water is required for maize and pulses.

Giving information about the pilot project, he said that farmers have registered for the cultivation of maize, arhar and pulses on 50,000 hectares of land in seven blocks. He said that in order to encourage farmers under the scheme, the State Government has also decided to give subsidy of Rs 2,000 per acre, free of cost seeds and payment of premium under Pradhan Manri Fasal Bima Yojana. He said that the government would also purchase the maize crop of all such farmers.

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State Government will develop big lakes so that the water could be collected in them and ground water level could be raised.

*Chandigarh, July 13 – With a view to improve ground water level in Haryana, the State Government will develop big lakes so that the water could be collected in them and ground water level could be raised. In this direction, the new lakes will be developed in various hill areas falling in the district such as Kasan and Kukdaula, and the restoration will be done of the Damdama Lake which is near extinction. Mapping will also be carried out for the development of such lakes.

This information was given by the Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal in a function organised to release Calendar of Events for Gurugram, prepared by the District Administration for the Gurujal Project under the Government's flagship program ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ in Gurugram today. According to this calendar, some activity will be done every week in the district to make water conservation a mass movement.

Under this Gurujal program, various programmes will be organised including the launch of website and helpline on July 19, District Enforcement Drive on July 26, program to save water drops on August 2, water proofing on August 9, Water Treatment Expo on August 16, Sport and Pond on August 23, Water Conservation on August 30, Connects Drops for Builders on September 6, Mass Plantation on September 13, Water Proofing on September 20 and I Am Water Conscious on September 27.

Emphasizing on accumulation of water, the Chief Minister said that he has done an aerial survey of Kasan, Kukdaula and Damdama today with Public Works (Building and Roads) Minister, Rao Narbir Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Mr. Amit Khatri so that big lakes can be developed at the foothills of the hilly areas falling in the district and the water can be conserved. He said that when rain occurs, the water coming from the hills goes waste into settlements in villages and there is no better use of it, but now when pmthere will be a lake on the foothills then the rainwater coming from the hills will go in these lakes and the ground water level will rise.

Referring to the growing population of NCR, he said that the Gurugram comes in the NCR region and there is a constant increase in population in the NCR. Accordingly, the need of water is also increasing and in such case, it is also being considered to develop these lakes for tourism purpose.

Referring to the work done on the water recharge by the present State Government, the Chief Minister said that the work was done to collect water in Masani Barrage of Rewari and due to this work, the ground water level there has increased by 20 to 25 feet. Similarly, the State Government has ensured reach of water in areas such as Mahendragarh and Bhiwani, where the canal water had not reached the tail ends in the last 40 years. He said that the departments and agencies of the State Government are working together to raise the ground water level, make optimum utilization of the water and use the water going waste.

He said that the Jal Shakti Abhiyan is very important not only for the country and for the state, but also for saving of water at world level because water is necessary for drinking of humans and animals, and for daily use. On this occasion, he called upon the people of the state to save water and water conservation at their own level. He said that in this direction, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi has recently expressed his concern over the saving of water while appealing to the people of the country through the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ program.

Later, the Chief Minister also launched state-wide plantation drive from Gurugram under Jal Shakti Abhiyan. He planted a sapling at Shivdham in Sector-32 near village Jharsa and said that 500 saplings would be planted in every village of the state under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan.

He said that the Forests Department has set a target to plant one crore saplings in the state, of which two lakhs will be planted in Gurugram. Mr. Manohar Lal said that every child should plant a sapling and take care of it. With the help of school children, every year 15 to 20 lakh saplings will be planted in the state. Every student will upload his photo with the sapling and that child will be given an amount of Rs. 50 in the form of an encouragement in six months.

The Chief Minister said that the purpose of Jal Shakti Abhiyan is to conserve water in the monsoon season. Under this campaign, 4,000 ponds will be rejuvenated in the state. Apart from this, rainwater harvesting systems will be installed in 1,000 schools of the state and 1.5 lakh soak pits will be made in the rural areas by the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department. Apart from this, 100 borewells in every district, which are not being used, will also be used as recharge-well.

Others present on this occasion included Public Works (Building and Roads) Minister, Rao Narbir Singh, MLA Gurugram, Mr. Umesh Aggarwal, MLA Sohna, Mr. Tejpal Tanwar, Mayor, Gurugram Municipal Corporation, Mrs. Madhu Azad, BJP District President, Mr. Bhupinder Chauhan, Police Commissioner, Muhammad Akil, Divisional Commissioner, Mr. Ashok Sangwan, Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Amit Khatri and other dignitaries.