Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari has stressed on the need of river connectivity, construction of barrages, dams, rubber dams and Bandhas, drip and piped irrigation in the country and highlighted the need for water circuits in the country on the lines of power circuits for better water conservation. He was addressing the Second India Water Impact Summit 2017 in New Delhi today.
Addressing the summit the minister said that availability of water is not the problem but we have to learn to mange and conserve it. The minister said Union Government’s plan to double the income of farmers by the year 2022 cannot be achieved without proper water management. Gadkari said enhancing drip and pipe irrigation will reduce wastage of water and will be cost effective for farmers. He further added, river connectivity programme can reduce water crisis in critical areas like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra.
Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti said that apart from the government programme, the will power or Sankalp Shakti of common man is very important to achieve the goal of “Aviral and Nirmal Ganga”. She said that lot of talks has been done and it’s time for action and results. The minister said she wants to see all the projects related to clean Ganga to be all least initiated fully by October 2018.
Welcoming the delegates, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, UP Singh expressed concern on the declining level of ground water in many parts of the country. Referring to a survey conducted under National Aquifer Mapping Programme, he said that ground water level has reached an alarmingly low level in many areas. Per capital availability of water is also reducing. He hoped that some concrete suggestions and action plan will emerge from the brain storming session and a definite strategy can be prepared for conservation of water resources and cleaning Ganga.
A vision document titled “Vision Ganga” prepared by Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies was also released on the occasion. The four day summit has been organised by Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and studies, IIT Kanpur with the collaboration of National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation with the main focus on “Valuing Water Transforming Ganga”. The summit will address both macro as well as micro issues related to the water sector moving the markers dynamics towards the adoption of an integrated water resources management model. The first summit was held in 2012.