Dimapur, July 12: Commissioner & Secretary, Land Resources Department, Y Kikheto Sema, IAS represented Nagaland state in a meeting on Inventory and Revival of Springs in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) at the NITI Aayog, New Delhi today.
Nagaland was the only state to present a power-point, sharing about implementation of pilot projects on Springshed Management. Y Kikheto Sema, IAS stated that forefathers had established villages only after ascertaining availability of spring sources. However, most of the springs were drying up due to unmanaged human activities and effects of climate change. Few states in IHR including the state of Nagaland visualized the urgency of reviving springs and initiatives were started on this issue.
He acknowledged the contributions made by Peoples’ Science Institute (PSI) Dehradun and Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM) Pune for imparting trainings and conducting workshops in the state for the last couple of years. He has further stated that 46 Nos. of Para-Hydrogeologists have been trained in the department who in turn imparts training to the communities in springshed management.
He said that out of about 71,000 springs in the state, approximately 7,000 springs are dependent on by the communities for their water requirements. With a little assistance from the state government during the last couple of years, the department has taken up one springshed pilot project in each of the 11 districts. It included community sensitization and mobilization, discharge measurement, water quality testing, hydrogeological studies of the springshed and demarcation of the effective recharge zones, and various interventions such as mechanical measures and vegetative measures. After intervention, each pilot springs had shown increase in discharge by about 300% within two years.
Kikheto said water and food were equally important but added a notch up on the importance of water and said that water security should have been given more importance.
Out of the approx. 7,000 springs located within human habitation, Kikheto said 4,520 springs are almost drying up and needed immediate rejuvenation. The LRD has created an inventory for 2,361 springs covering both physical and water quality parameters which was submitted to the Ministry of Water Resources and Central Ground Water Board in June 2019.
While appreciating the Government of India for taking up serious notes on revival of springs in the Indian Himalayan region, he urged the Union Government to take this on mission mode and allocate separate fund for its implementation as most of the IHR states are not in a position to rejuvenate springs in large scale due to resource constrains.
While acknowledging the presentation made by Nagaland state, Dr. V K Saraswat commented the efforts made by few IHR states such as Nagaland, Sikkim and Meghalaya and urged other states to emulate from them. He also informed that he would be visiting all the IHR States and shall be discussing with the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries on these issues.
The meeting was chaired by Dr. VK Saraswat, Member of NITI Aayog which was attended by officials of IHR states and Ministry of Water Resources, Department of Land Resources, Department of Science and Technology, Survey of India, SDC, ICIMOD etc. Principal Consultant, NITI Aayog, Dr. Ashok Kumar Jain moderated the meeting.
(Page News Service)