New Delhi, Mar 22 (FN Bureau) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India’s development and self-reliance is dependent on water security and water connectivity, and urged all to take ‘Jal Shapath’ (water pledge). Launching the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan:Catch the Rain’ campaign on World Water Day via video conferencing, Mr Modi said ‘Jal Shapath’, which is being organised all over the country should become everybody’s pledge and second nature as ‘when our nature changes with respect to water, nature will also support us.’
On the occasion, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Yogi Adityanatah respectively, to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project, the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers, in the presence of Mr Modi. Mr Modi said the Ken-Betwa Link Project is also part of this vision. He lauded both the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for making this project a reality.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Modi said the agreement is important to realise Atal ji’s dream in the interest of millions of families of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. He said rapid development is not possible without water security and effective water management. The Prime Minister noted that apart from rain water harvesting, the management of river water in our country has also been discussed for decades. Mr Modi also interacted with sarpanches and ward panches in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The Prime Minister noted that the challenge of the water crisis is increasing equally with India’s development. He said it is the responsibility of the present generation of the country to fulfill its responsibility for the generations to come. He talked about Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna, water campaign to every farm – Har Khet ko Paani, ‘Per Drop More Crop’ campaign and NamamiGange Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission or Atal Bhujal Yojana. Work is being undertaken rapidly on all these schemes, he said. The Prime Minister pointed out that the better India manages rainwater, the lesser the country’s dependence on groundwater. He called upon to step up water conservation efforts in the days leading upto Monsoon.
He expressed happiness that after the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, about 4 crore new families have piped drinking water connections in such a short time. He noted that public participation and local governance model are at the core of the Jal Jeevan Mission. Stating that during the Corona period itself, about 4.5 lakh women were trained for water testing, he claimed that every village is getting at least 5 trained women for water testing. In the concluding remarks, Mr Modi said better results are a certainty with increased participation of women in water governance.