Hyderabad: The Gram Panchayats have been told to utilise the Fourteenth Finance Commission funds for water conservation in their respective villages in this monsoon season in view of less rainfall. The Union Panchayat Raj department has issued the letter to the State government to see that the 14th FC funds are being used by GPs for the water conservation efforts. Also Read – International Persian Summer School concludes at MANUU Advertise With Us Though one month has gone by since the onset of monsoon in the State, most of the villages in the State have been experiencing water shortage due to less rainfall. The rainfall is 100 mm less than the average. In many villages the ground water levels have fallen sharply and the people have been facing shortage of water for both drinking and agriculture purposes. Also Read – Concerns of marine and fresh water pollution must be addressed on priority basis: Vice President Advertise With Us In view of this situation, the Union government decided to take steps for water conservation in all over the country. It has allowed the usage of Finance Commission funds for this purpose. The letter issued by the Union Panchayat Raj department said that under the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) grants are being devolved to Gram Panchayats for delivering basic services including water supply, sanitation, sewerage, solid waste management, storm water drainage, maintenance of community assets, roads, footpath, street light, burial and cremation grounds and any other basic service within the functions assigned to them. Advertise With Us As per guidelines of Union Ministry of Finance regarding implementation of FFC recommendation, the expenditure incurred by panchayats on basic services within the functions devolved to Gram Panchayat under the State laws may be incurred after proper plans are prepared by them. Considering the acute water scarcity faced in many parts of the country, the Union PR department advised the GPs to take up preparatory works with FFC funds towards rain water harvesting systems towards water conservation and groundwater recharge etc. in their respective Gram Panchayats, villages and hamlets. The expenditure for these works need to be incorporated in revised Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP) during the current year for due approval of the Gram Sabha. As per the instructions of the Union PR departments, the GPs have to dig soak pits in the villages for recharge of the ground water. Along with them they have to provide the villages with other forms of rain water harvesting. Officials of the State Panchayat Raj department said that the government has to issue necessary instruction in this regard to the GPs to take up rain water harvesting works in the respective areas.