Goa to utilise water from mining pits for irrigation: CM Sawant

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Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that water from the mining pits would be utilised for irrigation purposes in future to foster the farming activities.

“We have done such a unique project in Surla (in North Goa) by utilizing ‘District Mineral Fund’ and spending Rs 2.5 crore. We are pumping water from a mining pit for irrigation. Remaining mining pits (across Goa) will be used for irrigation purposes. We will use this water,” Sawant said, speaking while inaugurating Jal Shakti Abhiyan at Sankhali in North Goa.

Expressing concern that ground water level is decreasing as rain water is not getting harvested, Sawant urged the people of Goa to harvest rainwater and in return the government will pay them for it.

“In future we might face water scarcity. Earlier we used to get water soon after digging 5 meter to 6 meters. Now the situation has changed and we find it at 10 meters deep. For this we need to harvest water,” he said.

Sawant said that at present Goa doesn’t face any water scarcity like some parts of Maharashtra (particularly in west), Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. However in future this could be across India. We need to keep this in mind. This is why Jal Shakti Abhiyan has been launched,” he said.

“Earlier, our people used to do this work of harvesting water at many places, now they don’t. Now this activity has been stopped. Why you know? Because everyone feels that it should be done by the government and it is not their work. If we come together, then only this is possible (to harvest water),” he said.

“There is a need for rainwater to go underground. Concrete gutters are not giving scope for this, as water flows through it. In the future we will face the problem (of water scarcity). If rainwater is harvested then only ground water level will increase,” Sawant said.

“In Sangli (Maharashtra), I saw ‘Paani Vatap society’ distributing Rs 15 lakhs dividend to its members annually. The Maharashtra government had given them only technical and initial support. They have generated revenue through their efforts. But here in Goa such societies are dependent on us (government). Even we pay their salaries,” Sawant said.

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