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Like In Fight Against COVID-19, World Needs To Unite Against Water Crisis: Jal Shakti Minister

According to Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the central government is working on the Atal Bhujal Yojna, an initiative to map and recharge aquifers and conserve groundwater in collaboration with the World Bank

Like In Fight Against COVID-19, World Needs To Unite Against Water Crisis: Jal Shakti Minister
Highlights
  • NMCG would focus on behavioral change to address water scarcity: Centre
  • Ministry of Jal Shakti is presently collecting data of water resources
  • The attitude of polluting now and rejuvenate later must change: NITI Ayog

New Delhi: Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday (December 16) said the world needs to come together to meet the challenges of the water sector in the same way as the world has united in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Shekhawat was speaking at the concluding session of fifth India Water Impact Summit organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (cGanga) to explore new technologies in water security and rejuvenation of local water bodies in the country.

As per an official release, the focal point of discussion during the summit was “River Conservation Synchronised Navigation and Flood Management”.

Also Read: Surat Generating Massive Revenue By Selling Treated Water Of River Tapi To Industries

The Minister congratulated NMCG and cGanga for successfully organising the summit and equated it with “Vaicharik Kumbh”, and said the scheme would promote panchayat-centric groundwater management and behavioural change with the main emphasis on demand-side management, and the world needs to come together to meet the challenges of the water sector in the same way as the world has united in fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Mr. Shekhawat further pointed out that the conference resulted in greater interaction between investors and stakeholders in the water sector to promote international cooperation between India and many foreign countries for water and river management.

We have learnt a lot from national and international experiences and it is our promise that we will try to bring these learnings and concepts into practice. There is a political will and determination like never before, backed by support from academic and self-help organizations, he stated.

Notably, to make India water-rich, the Ministry of Jal Shakti is working towards a collection of data of water resources.

Talking about groundwater, Mr. Shekhawat said that India working to reduce our dependence use groundwater, which is the most used form of fresh water in the world.

We are working on the Atal Bhujal Yojna, a pioneering initiative to map and recharge aquifers and conserve groundwater in collaboration with the World Bank. The scheme has been formed with the main objective of strengthening the institutional structure for groundwater management and bringing about behavioural changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in seven states, the Minister stated.

Also Read: 7 Lakh Water Bodies Being Restored In Country This Year: Union Jal Shakti Minister

Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri appreciated the momentum and impact created by the Namami Gange mission, and informed that NMCG and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) have developed a first of its kind strategic framework for managing urban river areas in the Ganga River Basin called the ‘Urban River Management Plan’.

This framework is a river centric planning framework, designed to help cities manage the rivers within their stretches using a systems approach, he said.

Expressing his delight over the outcomes of the last four IWIS, Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Ayog said,

The attitude of polluting now and rejuvenate later must change.

Vijay Kumar Choudhry, Minister of Water Resource Department, Bihar apprised the audience about the challenges of Bihar which has rivers entering from Nepal in the north and from other Indian states in the south.

The flood management is an extremely relevant topic for Bihar because of its geography. Bihar is actively working on the conservation of local water bodies and wastewater management. I request cGanga and NMCG to give a special focus on flood management in Bihar, said  Mr. Choudhry.

Minister of State, Jal Shakti Ministry, Ratan Lal Katariya was also present at the Summit.

Also Read: World Bank Sanctions Over Rs. 3,000 Crore To Enhance Namami Gange Programme

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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