Question : Conservation of Lakes

(a) whether number of lakes have declined substantially across the country during the last few years;
(b) if so, the details thereof along with the reasons therefor, State/UT-wise including Bihar;
(c) whether the Government has launched any schemes to save/conserve/revive such lakes across the country and if so, the details thereof;
(d) whether the Union Government has received any proposals from various State Governments to protect natural lakes located in their respective States; and
(e) if so, the details thereof along with the funds allocated by the Union Government in this regard?

Answer given by the minister


(a) to (e) A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.


Statement referred to in reply to parts (a) to (e) of Lok Sabha Starred Question No. *352 to be answered on Friday, the 19th March, 2021 on ‘Conservation of Lakes’ raised by Shri Chirag Kumar Paswan.

(a)& (b) Rapid urbanization, developmental activities and anthropogenic pressures do stress water bodies.Various departments in the Central Government and the State Governments are engaged in restoration, conservation and preservation of lakes and wetlands. Works related to water resources development & management are planned, funded, executed and maintained by the State Governments themselves as per their own resources and priorities. The State Government of Bihar has informed that there is no decline in their number of lakes.

(c) to (e) Yes, Sir. The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is currently implementing a centrally sponsored scheme namely, National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA) for conservation and management of identified wetlands (includes lakes) in the country on cost sharing basis between Central Government and respective State Governments. The scheme covers various activities such as interception, diversion and treatment of wastewater, shoreline protection, lake front development, in-situ cleaning i.e. desilting & deweeding, storm water management, bioremediation, catchment area treatment, lake beautification, survey & demarcation, biofencing, fisheries development, weed control, biodiversity conservation, education and awareness creation, community participation, etc.

Under the NPCA scheme, the central assistance is based on the proposals received from the State Governments, conformity with the guidelines and budget availability. Accordingly, so far, MoEF&CC has sanctioned projects for conservation of 157 wetlands in the country and released an amount of about Rs. 1039.0 crore as central share.

Further, in order to supplement the efforts of the State Governments, the Ministry of Jal Shakti provides technical and financial assistance to State Governments to encourage sustainable development and efficient management of water resources through various schemes and programmes such as Surface Minor Irrigation (SMI), Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies Schemes etc. under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) – Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP).

The RRR of Water Bodies scheme mainly aims at expanding cultivable area under assured irrigation by improvement and restoration of water bodies thereby increasing the tank storage capacity and revival of lost irrigation potential along with other objectives like improving water use efficiency, ground water recharge, increased availability of drinking water, improvement of catchment of tank commands etc. water bodies included under the scheme are encroachment free. It covers rural water bodies having minimum water spread area of 5.0 hectare and urban water bodies having water spread area from 2.0 hectare to 10.0 hectare.

Under the RRR of Water Bodies scheme, since 12th plan onwards, 2228 water bodies are covered with an estimated cost of Rs. 1914.86 crore. Central Assistance (CA) of Rs. 433.9 crore has been released to states up to March, 2020. Further, 1465 water bodies have been reported to be-completed up to March, 2020. Target irrigation potential restoration of these schemes is 1.89 L Ha and out of this, 1.319 L Ha is reported to be restored till March, 2020. In the current financial year, Rs. 35.79 crore has been released to RRR of water Bodies schemes till date.

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