Chief Minister Harish Rawat has directed the irrigation, forest and water resources development departments to jointly work out a new policy, which puts emphasis on reviving the rivers of the state and devising water preservation schemes in villages located along their banks.

Rawat, who convened a meeting here yesterday to review the status of Uttarakhand's water resources, said ground water table needs to be maintained by preventing construction on surface recharge areas, an official release here said.
    
Underlining the need for devising methods for preservation of rain water and its maximum utilisation, the Chief Minister asked the departments concerned to launch a pilot project in this regard in Pauri and Almora.

He also asked them to study the possibility of linking the rivers flowing through the state.  

Rawat said a state-level policy planning group consisting of experts from different fields would be set up which will prepare schemes meant for the social and economic development of Uttarakhand.
    
He said that maximum number of projects related to people's welfare should be sent to the Centre for its clearance.

Rawat also asked officials present at the meeting to strengthen the tourism sector which received a setback due to the last year's flashfloods.
    
Asking them to prepare a tourism master plan, he said construction of inns and lodges on Chardham Yatra -- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath -- route should be expedited besides identifying new places which have the potential to be developed into major destinations.

(Agencies)

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