Prominent water conservationist Rajendra Singh in Bhopal on Tuesday slammed the Narendra Modi-led NDA government as “a government of contractors and corporators” and said its talks on climate change, terrorism and secularism ring “quite dishonest”.
Singh, a winner of the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, criticised Modi especially with regard to “his attitude towards the river Ganga”, saying the PM had conveniently forgotten that he was supposed to be the “son of Ganga”.
He was referring to Modi’s reported assertion during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections where he called himself “the son of Ganga who came to Banaras on the call of his mother”.
The ‘Waterman of India’, as Singh is popularly known, said Modi forgot to take any effective action to clean the holy river after assuming the office of PM.
“If one’s mother is ailing, a son seeks the best of doctors to cure her. Now that Modi is the PM, he has the best of doctors at his disposal, why doesn’t he use them?” Singh, who was in the city to participate in a workshop on integrated water resource management in Bundelkhand organised by NGO Parmarth, told HT.
The conservationist further said Modi constantly spoke about ensuring ‘aviralta’ (continuous flow) and ‘nishchalta’ (cleanliness) of Ganga during his campaign.
“But now he has forgotten about aviralta because it would mean bringing tough laws but remembers nishchalta because it would mean having opportunity of giving more contracts for cleaning,” he said.
Impact of drought in MP man-made
Singh also hit out at the MP government, saying its wrong policies led to the worsening of impact of drought in the state. He said MP is a naturally very well endowed state and some years of drought shouldn’t have harmed it to the extent that farmers started committing suicides.
“But the government paid little attention to strengthening of the link of earth, land and water and rather focused on contracting away the work of constructing water conservation structures,” he said.
He said the basic solution to problems in MP was to ensure three rights for rivers - right to land, right to flow and right to cleanliness.