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PM Modi Urges Jan Shakti To Save Jal Shakti
Namami Gange is Modi government's ambitious project that brings together various efforts of the government for cleaning and conserving the river
Photo Credit : Shutterstock
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the citizens of the country to take a pledge to save every drop of water. On the occasion of World Water Day, the PM tweeted, "When Jan Shakti has made up their mind we can successfully preserve Jal Shakti (sic)."
The PM also praised UN for choosing a valid theme of wastewater. "It will help further awareness on water recycling and why it is essential for our planet," PM mentioned in a tweet.
During 2014 general elections, Namami Gange project was one of the main agendas which helped BJP rise to power. It was perhaps one of the strongest mainstays of Modi's campaign, also a smooth route to his elevation as the Prime Minister.
His first announcement as the PM was the allocation of approximately Rs 20,000 crore for the Namami Gange project.
Namami Gange project
Namami Gange is Modi government's ambitious project that brings together various efforts of the government for cleaning and conserving the river.
Reverentially referred to as Maa Ganga (Mother Ganga) for the sacred water it provides, the river is a source of livelihood to at least 500 million people in the country.
Uttarakhand government has declared Ganga and Yamuna as living entities giving them legal rights as a person. This move, which came days before the World Water Day, will help aggravate the cleaning process of the dirt choked rivers.
Water Situation in India
Cleaning up rivers is not the only solution India should look at, as rainwater and groundwater resources of India are also facing risk.
Reports from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation suggest that 45,053 villages had access to piped water and hand pumps by the end of 2016-17, accounting for 64.19 per cent of India. Almost 19,000 villages across the country still do not receive regular water supply.
In 2015, a report by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation stated the annual rainfall received in the country to be 1170 mm, out of which only 6 per cent is stored due to poor infrastructure and storage facilities. The numbers for the same are as high as 250 per cent for developed nations.
What can be done to resolve the crisis
Rainwater storage and harvesting are still not a regular practice in India. Apart from a few cities like Tamil Nadu, Pune and Bangalore where some of the housing societies have a compulsion for rainwater harvesting. However, apart from these few examples, there is no pan-India infrastructure for rainwater harvesting. It is important to empower local people and enable them to save water for usage.
Some non-governmental bodies like Water Aid are reaching out to the rural and semi-urban population who are facing either lack of drinking water or water sanitations in their areas. They are providing water testing kits, rainwater harvesting solutions and alternate water supply and management solutions.
With continuous efforts by both government and non-government bodies to improve the water situation in India, there have been significant developments on the water resources development front. Proper management of the available water resources and a proactive participation from the local bodies can change the water crisis situation in the country.