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Save water before it is too late, says PM

Manmohan Singh warns of a severe water shortage in the next few decades and advocates “collective” action to conserve the resource, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

delhi Updated: Jul 05, 2007 02:13 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday warned of a severe water shortage in the next few decades and advocated “collective” action by government, citizens and NGOs to conserve the resource.

“Our planet will encounter in the next few decades severe shortage of water if we are not careful in conserving and preserving precious water resources of our country,” he told the annual Conference of Ministers in Charge of Drinking Water and Sanitation here.

Singh said government agencies must create a framework for collective action with non-governmental agencies and civil society at large for conserving water.

The Prime Minister expressed serious concern about the growing number of habitations that have failed to provide safe water on a sustainable basis.

Singh said the success in providing safe water to habitations had been offset by the increasing numbers of the habitations that “slipped back” every year. “This is the major lacuna in the programme as it has been implemented,” he added.

The prime minister called for proper institutional arrangements to “ensure that both scientific expertise for location of sources as well as collective action for water recharge are effectively mobilised”.

This was part of the original concept behind the technology mission of drinking water started by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987, he said.