The Goalpara district on Wednesday received the prestigious National Water Award 2019.

The district received the third prize in the category of Best District in Northeast (Water Conservation).

The National Water Awards were presented for ‘Excellence in Water Management and Conservation’ across the nation during a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Jal Shakti at the Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on Wednesday.

The ceremony was inaugurated by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu and was attended by many experts and luminaries.

The award was presented by Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Goalpara district has been doing commendable work in the area of water conservation and water management under the guidance of deputy commissioner Varnali Deka.

To inculcate values of water conservation in the new generation and to enhance guardian engagement and community participation, Rain Water Harvesting and Ground Water recharge schemes have been implemented in various Anganwadi centres.

In November 2019, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the first model Anganwadi Centre funded through local CSR and crowd-sourcing at Budhipara near Agia in Goalpara.

Through CSR funding and local crowd-sourcing, water purifiers have been installed in schools across Goalpara.

Efforts are on in the conservation and re-rejuvenation of Urpad Beel, one of the largest water bodies of lower Assam with an area of 520 hectares.

Along with Patakata and Matia Beels, the total wetland area is 1,000 hectares.

There have been recorded sightings of 24 exotic species such as the White Wind wood duck from Siberia, Greater adjutant stork, etc.

The beel also finds mention in the Bombay Natural History Society listings.

The beel has been prone to erosion and siltation leading to shrinkage in carrying capacity and also unfettered growth of water hyacinth.

The district administration along with many other developmental departments such as Zilla Parishad, DRDA, Public Works Department, Fisheries, Irrigation, Soil Conservation, Forest and Social Forestry Departments have been creating awareness amongst the local people.

The district administration has also carried out eviction activities to free the wetland areas from potentially damaging encroachment.

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