Concerned over how rivers are treated with "shocking disregard", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday called for a focused strategy to ensure that the cities stop polluting rivers.
The day is not far when the cause of increasing loss of lives would be because of the polluted rivers. The way the rivers were treated might well turn them into one. Singh said that the dirty water was a major cause of childhood mortality in the country besided hurting the quality of farm produce.
"We worship our rivers, yet we treat them with shocking disregard. The fact is that almost every river in our country is getting increasingly polluted," Singh said while inaugurating a 'World Water Day' function that included among audience several Union ministers and water experts.
Singh said cities must become water efficient and invest in managing and treating their waste water. He emphasised on the need of a new water management paradigm involving cost-effective technologies which will recycle and reuse water and waste.
The Prime Minister's remarks came two days after the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a new study that two Indian rivers-Ganges and Indus-are among the world's top 10 rivers at risk threatening livelihoods of people along its banks in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Programmes like Ganga Action Plan were reviewed while emphasising the need to adopt Gandhian principle of utilising water according to one's need.
The Ganga Action Plan completes over 20 years and the National River Conservation Plan completes ten years.