Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday underlined the importance of people’s participation in the efforts for water conservation and said the governments’ attempts alone cannot be successful.
In his virtual address at the first national conference of water ministers from states, Modi said water should be a subject of cooperation, collaboration and coordination among states and asked them to plan in advance in view of the fast pace of urbanisation.
His remarks assume significance as disputes over water-sharing have lingered among several states for decades. The prime minister said he thinks that under the MGNREGA maximum work should be done on water as he 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 for crop diversity and natural farming.
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Modi also urged states to work on waste management and sewage treatment to stop water bodies from being polluted, and said they can use the ‘Namami Gange’ scheme as a template.
People’s participation in any programme develops a sense of ownership among them which, he said, is a key to success. Modi cited the ‘Swachh Bharat’ (clean India) campaign as a successful example of this. The all-India water ministers’ meet on the theme ‘Water Vision@2047’ brings together key policy makers to discuss ”ways to harness water resources for sustainable development”, the government has said.
The Union Jal Shakti Ministry is organising the national level conference on water.