NEW DELHI: The government is targeting to address two concerns – catching the run-off rainwater and meeting the scarcity of soil for infrastructure projects – by fast-tracking the construction of over 50,000 Amrit Sarovars (ponds), each with a size of over one acre. Each such pond will be of at least one acre with a water holding capacity of 10,000 cubic metres.
According to the minutes of the last Pragati meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi, he has asked all agencies working in the infrastructure sector, such as roads and railways, to map their projects with the water bodies being developed under the Amrit Sarovar scheme, to meet their requirement. “This would be a win-win situation as the material dug out for the Amrit Sarovar can be utilised for civil works by the agencies,” the minutes said.
A senior official in an infrastructure ministry said the availability of soil dug up from the identified sites for the ponds will address a key issue. “Now, different state authorities charge royalty for soil that’s excavated for carrying out road and other infrastructure projects. Once we have the states identify the spots for the ponds, we can get the soil without any problem. This will fast-track project implementation,” he added.
Shortage of soil has been one of the concerns for infrastructure projects across several states, and more so when there are orders from different benches of the green tribunal and local authorities.
As per government data, So far 65,536 spots have been identified for Amrit Sarovar and work has started at 27,324 sites. Till now works have been completed at 857 sites.