Jammu, Jan 16: Underscoring the critical importance of the Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP) for Jammu and Kashmir, Secretary, Rural Development Department and Panchayati Raj, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary urged officials to prioritize projects like irrigation canal upgrades, soil erosion prevention, and water conservation.
During a comprehensive review of IWMP implementation, Dr Choudhary emphasized the need for long-lasting infrastructure, particularly strengthening irrigation canals and water harvesting structures.
He recognized the urgency of the program in the Kandi belts and pledged to seek approval for additional projects from the GoI.
Dr Shahid emphasized the historical importance of traditional water bodies in Jammu and Kashmir, urging concerted efforts towards their renewal.
He highlighted the region’s abundance of centuries-old water bodies, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to restore them, particularly those associated with religious and tourist destinations.
He stressed the significance of horticulture, lavender plantation, and cactus cultivation for the overall development of the region.
Dr Shahid emphasized the importance of capacity building for technical experts involved in the program, suggesting exposure visits to states where successful and sustainable initiatives have been implemented.
Dr Bharat Bhushan, CEO of IWMP, presented a detailed report on the physical and financial achievements of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana under IWMP.
He informed that 19 projects approved by the Government of India, with 16 DPRs finalized and 3 nearing completions. Additionally, he reported the initiation of 1156 projects for the current year, with 517 already completed.
The meeting was attended by Joint Director Planning, Kumal Kumar Sharma, Financial Advisor/CAO, IWMP Ashok Kumar among others.
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