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AP CM to launch ‘Neeru-Chettu’ today

Hyderabad, Feb 18 (INN): Ahead of the launch of Andhra Pradesh Government’s flagship programme “Neeru Chettu” in Thamballapalle of Chittoor district on Thursday, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that this has to be taken up on a campaign mode, eventually making it a people’s movement.

Ministers, districts collectors and nodal officers will be launching the programme simultaneously on Thursday at the district and mandal level.

Through Neeru-Chettu, the government aims to make AP a drought-free state by encouraging plantations and through 100% drip and sprinkler irrigation in drought-hit areas.

The objectives of Neeru Chettu are: inventory of existing water harvesting structures and repairs to them, construction of new water harvesting structures using the remote-sensing/geo-tagging technology, construction of recharge pits through roof-water collection, de-silting of tanks and breach restoration, better water management through improved-agricultural practices.

Under this programme, the government will focus on planting saplings, enhancing ground-water table and utilize available resources through environmental protection.

Stating that the program has to benefit the community ultimately, the Chief Minister said that this program should create a relationship between people and nature and only then would it be absorbed into the community.

Similarly, the Chief Minister pointed out that district officials should work with irrigation, rural development, MA & UD, forest and other related departments and have brainstorming sessions on novel ways to implement the program.

He also suggested that district officials could consult retired engineers or experts from the field or communities to create effective structures like check-dams, etc. “You have to think out-of-the-box and identify low-hanging fruits, “ he told officials.

The Chief Minister added that all the updates regarding the works carried out will be online and geo-tagged based on the locations. Later, satellite mapping will also be carried out. Those who have implemented best practices and have achieved results will be awarded, the Chief Minister said.

This, according to the Chief Minister, will increase accountability and keep people updated about work in real time.

He suggested prepared project profile of all districts based on the works carried out from the district level to village/ward level. “This will help us and the districts understand where we stand and how we can take this forward and address the gaps,” he said.

The Chief Minister directed district collectors to work on initiatives which will ensure there is no water scarcity in this summer through extensive drip and sprinkler irrigation.

He also suggested beautification of tanks and taking up fencing or creating lung space depending on purpose of water usage.

On the other hand, the Chief Minister also suggested the irrigation department to prepare a project report to submit it to the (Central) Water Resources Ministry for special grant for drought-proofing the state.

Deputy Chief Ministers K.E. Krishna Murthy, N. Chinarajappa, Ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao, P. Narayana, Devineni Uma Maheshwara Rao, P. Pulla Rao, Achhan Naidu, Ayyanna Patrudu, Peethala Sujatha, Ravella Kishore Babu, Principal Secretary (irrigation) Adityanath Das, Principal Secretaries of MA&UD, Rural Development, Secretary to CM Sai Prasad and other officials were present.

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