PM: People’s role key in water conservation
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for people’s participation in water conservation, appealing to citizens to make it a success story like they did the Swachch Bharat mission
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for people’s participation in water conservation, appealing to citizens to make it a success story like they did the Swachch Bharat mission.
Addressing the All India Annual State Ministers’ Conference on Water virtually in Bhopal, the Prime Minister said attempts by governments alone cannot make any programme successful, adding that water should be a subject of “cooperation, collaboration and coordination” among states.
Authorities should plan in advance in view of fast-paced urbanisation in the country, he said.
“When the public is associated with a campaign, they also get to know the seriousness of the work. Due to this, a sense of ownership also comes in the public towards any scheme or campaign,” Modi said.
“India has made major strides in water security. Our water vision towards 2047 will be a big contribution to Amrit Kaal,” said the PM. “The nation is working together to build 75 Amrit Sarovars in every district. Till now, 25,000 Amrit Sarovars have already been constructed.”
Stressing that maximum work under the flagship MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) should be done on water, Modi called for spreading awareness among people for its conservation.
“Water is most consumed in sectors such as industry and farming, and awareness should be spread among them,” he said, advocating crop diversity and natural farming.
The Prime Minister said the subject of water comes under the control of states as per the Constitution and it is their efforts that will go a long way in achieving the collective goals of the country.
“Water Vision@2047 is an important dimension of the journey of Amrit Kaal for the next 25 years,” he said.
Reiterating his vision of ”whole of government” and ”whole of the country”, the PM emphasised that all governments should work like a system and there should be constant interaction and dialogue between different ministries and governments.
The biggest advantage of public participation is public awareness about efforts being put into a campaign and the money being spent, Modi said. “When people joined the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a consciousness was awakened in the public as well,” he said.
“Only the government’s efforts are not sufficient towards water conservation. A new chapter of Jan Bhagidari (people’s participation) needs to begin with multiple stakeholders from all sections of society,” Modi said. “In the campaigns related to water conservation, we have to involve people, social organisations and civil society as much as possible.”
Modi went on to explain that promoting public participation does not reduce the accountability of the government and it does not mean putting all the responsibility on the people. “The biggest advantage of public participation is the awareness that is created among the public about the efforts being put into the campaign and the money being spent. When the public is associated with a campaign, they also get to know the seriousness of the work. Due to this, a sense of ownership also comes in the public towards any scheme or campaign”, he added.
Highlighting the importance of technology, he said, “Technologies like geo-mapping and geo-sensing are playing an important role in the work of water conservation. Various startups are also cooperating in this work.”
He proposed that panchayats lead the Jal Jeevan Mission, and after the work is completed, they should also certify that sufficient and clean water was made available. “Every gram panchayat can also submit a monthly or quarterly report online stating the number of houses that are getting tap water in the village,” he said.
Throwing light on the need to increase forest cover for water conservation, Modi also called for coordinated efforts between the environment and water ministries. he said village panchayats should prepare an action plan for the next five years, where a road map on water supply, cleanliness and waste management should be considered. “Instead of waiting for the rains, all the planning needs to be done before the rains”, he added.
Modi noted the water requirements in both the industry and agriculture sectors, and recommended that special campaigns be run to make them aware of water security. He gave examples of techniques such as crop diversification and natural farming. “Micro-irrigation should be promoted continuously by all the states”, he added.
The two-day national conference in Bhopal is being attended by ministers of water resources, irrigation department and public health engineering department from all states and Union territories.
(with agency inputs)