House discusses ways to resolve water crisis
Parliament members on Monday suggested interventions such as interlinking of rivers and rainwater harvesting to deal with the water crisis affecting large parts of the country.
According to India Meteorological Department’s latest data, over half of India is facing drought-like conditions. Millions are struggling for drinking water as lakes have dried up. Groundwater levels, too, are depleting amid a sluggish monsoon that has impacted the sowing of key summer crops over the past two weeks.
In Rajya Sabha, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Satyanarayan Jatiya highlighted grave water crisis in parts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka. He said the problem is now being reported from other areas as well.
Jatiya suggested that five big river interlinking projects be taken up on a priority basis in north, south, east and central India to provide water to the regions facing the deficiency. He said the newly-created Jal Shakti ministry should focus on policies that address concerns about water and river linking.
Jatiya’s party colleague, Ashok Bajpai, cited a report of government think tank, NITI Aayog, about a possible water crisis in parts of the country next year as well.
He referred to Chennai’s water crisis and how sources of water have dried up in Tamil Nadu.
Another BJP lawmaker, Saroj Pandey, underlined the need for creating public awareness about the merits of rainwater harvesting so that monsoon rain can be used to recharge the groundwater table.
Rajya Sabha chairman, M Venkaiah Naidu, said the issue of water crisis is important and that he is willing to allow a short discussion on it if a notice is given. He advised members to consult among themselves before giving such a notice.
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