‘2021 was ‘historic’ for Jal Shakti ministry, several long pending issues resolved’

New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI):
The year 2021 was “historic” for the Jal Shakti ministry as several landmark decisions were taken and many long pending issues were resolved, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, noting that the focus next year would be to expedite the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide tap water connections to more rural households.
Talking to PTI about how the year was for the Jal Shakti ministry, he said all responsibilities given to it were fulfilled. “The year has truly been historic for the ministry. The long pending issue of interlinkage of rivers was resolved. Agreement was also reached between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in this regard,” he said. The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh earlier this year signed an agreement that aims to tackle a long stalled multi-crore, controversial project to link the Ken and Betwa rivers and irrigate the water deficient Bundelkhand region (spread over both states) as well as provide electricity. Shekhwat said 2021 was also very significant for the Jal Shakti ministry because a law was enacted relating to dam safety. “The Machchhu dam collapsed in 1979 and in 1982 a report was given on the matter. Now after all these years, a dam safety bill was passed which is very significant,” he said. In the ongoing winter session, Parliament passed a bill that seeks to set up an institutional mechanism for the safety of specified dams in the country. The bill provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dams for the prevention of dam failure-related disasters. It provides for an institutional mechanism to ensure a safe functioning of the dams.
In December, the government also extended the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), launched in 2015 under which 90 per cent grant has been given to three National Projects including Renukaji (Himachal Pradesh) and Lakhwar (Uttarakhand).

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