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Vaishno Devi Shrine Board bags first prize for water management

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 at 6:58 pm

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board bagged the First Prize of the ‘National Water Awards-2022’. The Award has been given by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, in recognition of the significant strides made by the Shrine Board to promote water conservation and proper management of water in the category of ‘Best Institution/Resident Welfare Association/Religious Organisation for Campus Usage’.

The Award ceremony was organised today at the Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Sh. Ram Nath Kovind, Hon’ble President of India was the Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony of the Award distribution who felicitated Winners of 3rd National Water Awards, while Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ministers of State for Jal Shakti Shri Bishweswar Tudu and Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Pankaj Kumar and Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Vini Mahajan were also present on the occasion. The President also launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign 2022 during the event.

Sh. Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, who received the award, thanked the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti for recognising the work done by the Shrine Board for water conservation and proper water management, adding that this award will encourage more and more to work for water management.

Noteworthy, that the Shrine Board besides making concerted efforts to provide the best possible facilities to the pilgrims is, interalia, taking continuing initiatives and adopting best water management practices and techniques for water conservation. These include construction of water harvesting ponds and undertaking other works in the slopes of Trikuta Hills, installation of Water ATMs, recycling of Sewage Treatment Plants water for reuse in flushing of toilet blocks, installation of waterless urinals and rooftop rainwater harvesting etc.

To promote rainwater harvesting, the rain shelter shed on two sections of Tarakote Marg has been designed with the provision of collecting rainwater in the hood and taking it down to the collection tank through piped network envisaging subsequent use for landscaping work and sweeping purposes.

Various provisions have also been made in the residential buildings of the SMVDIME as well as SMVDNS Hospital at Kakryal for rainwater harvesting for use in landscaping work etc, thereby saving a large quantity of water.

A multi pronged approach has been adopted by Forest Wing of Shrine Board for proper water management and promotion of water conservation through various activities and campaigns which includes construction of water harvesting ponds, DRSM (Dry Rubble Stone Masonry) works in the slopes of Trikuta Hills and construction of vegetative check dam. Considerable number of water harvesting ponds have been constructed in the Shrine forest area which is helping in recharging ground water and also serving as a feeding point for wildlife. In addition, vegetative check dams have been constructed by using live hedges and plant species in forest areas which is also helping in control of water and soil from erosion. Every year, the Shrine Forest wing has a target of more than 1.00 lakh seedlings to be planted.

Banganga river rejuvenation also remained a focus area for Shrine Board wherein water management and environment management are taken together for implementation to restore the lost ecology of the polluted stretches of the river by construction of drainage with sewer network system with interceptor chambers to divert polluted water. The target to create a green environment around Banganga rivulet was also initiated which not only helped in reducing soil erosion but improvement in the ecology and aesthetics of the area besides environment friendly and attractive pilgrimage.

The installation of dedicated Fire Hydrants from Bhawan to Adhkuwari via Himkoti to mitigate fire incidents during summer season by lifting of treated water from Bhawan STP to reservoirs of 50,000 gallons capacity each at Hut Station, Bhawan, Saket, Himkoti and Adhkuwari, in normal course is to be utilised for floriculture, washing of track, construction works etc. The Board is also promoting the reuse of treated water from various STPs for flushing of toilet blocks, landscaping etc. In this context, an adequate water storage facility has been constructed at the Shrine Board’s Sports Complex at Katra and the treated water from STP at Niharika as well as rain water runoff from Niharika Complex is collected and used for landscaping and flushing purposes. The Board has made such provisions in its several other buildings also which includes Spiritual Growth Centre, Staff Colony, Nomain, Niharika Complex, Aastha Complex, SMVD Gurukul and Serli Helipad.