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Seminar on ‘Ensuring Inclusion and Equity in Pani Panchayats’held

Bhubaneswar, 31.01.2024 : A seminar in connection with the State level function of the Pani Panchayat Pakhya,2024 was held on 30th January in the Convention Centre, Lokseva Bhawan, organised by the Department of Water Resources, Government of Odisha, on the subject ‘Ensuring Inclusion and Equity in Pani Panchayats’.
It was chaired by Smt. Anu Garg, Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Water Resources and attended by the Principal Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department, Shri S.K.Vashishth. The participants included functionaries of Pani Panchayats; women farmers; practitioners; academia; researchers from the CGIAR/ ICAR institutions; collaborators from UN agencies and senior officers of the Department of Water Resources etc.
At the outset, a two minutes silence was observed on the occasion of the Martyr’s Day.
Speaking on the occasion, Development Commissioner-cum-Additional Chief Secretary Smt.Garg highlighted how the Pani Panchayat Act, 2002 has been amended multiple times to include women and fishermen as members and allow formation of Pani Panchayats under Mega Lift Irrigation Projects. She called upon the Pani Panchayats to use of water efficiently, adopt technology, practice crop diversification and resolve disputes in water sharing. Principal Secretary, FARD highlighted how pisciculture facilitates maximum livelihood opportunities and climate resilient crops such as millets, pulses etc could help use less water for more benefits. The Pani Panchayats highlighted the activities taken up by them and volunteerism done to activate the organ; cited good practices and innovative ideas on water governance; dwelled on the challenges encountered in participatory irrigation management and probable solutions to each. They also expressed their aspirations in the water sector. The other participants, representing a myriad domain, enlisted the innovative ideas and sustainable practices which potentially could be game changing. It is noteworthy that Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik, graced at the valedictory function of the State Level Pani Panchayat Paksha held yesterday as the Chief Guest, addressed the participants and distributed prizes to the Best Pani Panchayats, Best farmers, best projects and the winners of various competitions held on the occasion.

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