Union water resources minister Uma Bharti on Friday launched the ‘Jal Kranti Abhiyan’ in the desert state and emphasised that water preservation and conservation initiatives could become successful only if they were converted into mass movements.
“Freedom movement went on for a long period and became successful (only) when it turned into a revolution. Similarly, water conservation will have to be turned into a mass movement,” said Bharti, while addressing a jam-packed audience at the Birla Auditorium in Jaipur.
The Jal Kranti campaign would be celebrated across the country through 2015-16 with an aim to consolidate water conservation and management initiatives using a holistic and integrated approach, the minister said.
As a pilot project, the activities related to the campaign would run at one village of district hit by water scarcity, she said.
“The campaign would continue till water reaches every house and farm across the country.” “Rajasthan is affected by water scarcity, be it for drinking or irrigation. The ministry is preparing a mega vision to handle water imbalance. If the imbalance of water is removed then development will be strengthen(ed),” she said.
The minister said that the government had also conducted a ground water survey. “Wherever the water level is found less, schemes are being planned to revive it,” she said.
Taking potshots at the Congress and accusing the Opposition of doing politics on interlinking of rivers, Bharti said: “They (Congress) allege that Maharashtra water is taken under Gujarat pressure. I appeal (to) Congress president Sonia Gandhi to see the presentation on projects and explain ground realities to her leaders in Maharashtra where the Opposition leaders are playing politics over (the) projects.”
She said interlinking of rivers project was brought by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but the UPA government restricted it just to papers.
The objective of the Jal Kranti campaign is to involve all stakeholders, including Panchayati Raj institutions and local bodies, in the water security and development schemes; encouraging adoption of traditional knowledge in water resources conservation and managing and enhancing livelihood security through water security in rural areas.