Govt’s Rs 45,000 Crore Push To Address Water Crisis Is Ready To Roll
Water scarcity in cities is becoming more and more evident. To prove this further NITI Aayog recently ranked Indian states based on their composite water management techniques. The study was comprehensive based on a number of indicators such as restoration, irrigation, drinking water, etc. In the ranking, Gujarat has managed to score the best and is high on the ladder of Composite Waste Management Index (CWMI). The worst, says NITI Aayog, is Jharkhand.
Gujarat is followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra while among the poor performers are not just Jharkhand but Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as well where water management is not up to the mark. Among the north-east states, Tripura has been the best performer and Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam are not far behind, indicates the index.
Mapping the issues
Releasing the index, Minister for Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari said that those states that have fared better have also done well in terms of agriculture.
This index shall be published year after to tap the success over the years. This time, however, West Bengal and Puducherry did not participate.
Gadkari also addressed other issues like air pollution in Delhi and confirmed that he would be addressing meetings and talking with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to map a plan.
Extent of the problem
*The crisis is growing up the day as the report suggests, "Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water.”
*By 2030, India would be needing twice the water supply than now.
*Irrigation techniques need to ensure last-mile efficiency s 52 per cent of agricultural land is still rainfall dependent.
*Data also suggest that with 70 per cent of water being contaminated, India is at the 120thposition among 122 countries. This data has been sought from independent agencies.
*Another striking bit of information collected from FAO, UNICEF, Dalburg Analysiindicateste that 40 per cent of the populace may not have access to drinking water by 2030. This includes Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad in a list of 21 cities. There is also threat to groundwater by 2020.
What are the authorities doing?
With water crisis reaching a culpable stage, the government has directed that 30 rivers should be interlinked so that the problem can be minimised. Reports suggest that Nitin Gadkari-led Water Resources and River Development Ministry has come up with a Rs 45,000 crore worth of projects aiding such development. Clearances to link some rivers have already been received.
The entire project would be covered in two phases of Ken-Betwa, Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada projects, officials have confirmed and clearances for Ken-Betwa which sustains the Bundelkhand region (Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) has already been received. The others are underway although there is no clarity on the date of completion.
More plans on the anvil
At a recent conference in Tajikistan, Gadkari also mentioned that the Indian government is keen on spending Rs 30,000 crore on water conservation across one lakh villages in India. This will help achieve access to safe drinking water for all by 2030.