NITI Aayog has prepared draft guidelines for convergence of the activities of (i) sourcing earth for improvement/construction of national highways, state roads and railways and (ii) water conservation works through desiltation/ deepening of water bodies. This two-fold activity has already been successfully implemented as a pilot project in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra state.
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India has also issued a letter to all States/UTs and project/construction agencies in 2017 conveying that contractors/construction agencies responsible for construction of National Highways should excavate the earth as per their project requirements from such identified water bodies/areas at no cost to the village panchayats/ rural development departments/water conservation departments and transport the same to their project sites. Similarly, the panchayats/water conservation departments of the states should not charge any amount from the agencies for the earth so excavated. Through this arrangement, gram panchayats/farmers will gain by having a pond/water body dug in their land at no cost which will help in restoration of such water bodies while the construction agency would get the material for embankments for its road building and road expansion projects free of cost.
The National Perspective Plan (NPP) was prepared by the then Ministry of Irrigation (now Ministry of Jal Shakti) in August 1980 for water resources development through inter basin transfer of water for transferring water from water surplus basins to water-deficit basins. Under the NPP, the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 links (16 under Peninsular Component and 14 under Himalayan Component) for preparation of Feasibility Reports (FRs). The Government has also taken up the inter-linking of rivers (ILR) program in a consultative manner for relief to the people suffering from floods and droughts.
This Information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti & Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri. Rattan Lal Kataria Rajya Sabha today.