“Will have to work seriously on water front”

Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat ...

By Kamlesh Singh

He said the monsoon this year would be “good,” so there should not be any water scarcity. But he sought to remind the country that according to the World Resources Institute, 17 countries, including India, are set to face a water crisis in the near future. At the time of India’s independence, the water need of a person on an average was 5,000 cubic metres, which has now come down to 1540 cubic metres, he said.

Shekhawat said the entire world is frightened by the specter of climate change. “The period of rainy season is reduced. In just 45 days, we receive 90 per cent of the total rain. “So, we have to save water for 320 days in these 45 days. We have lost many water sources; the water bodies that we saw up to the brim, not so long ago, are today dry, many among them have become extinct. So, we need to change our attitude,” said the minister.

About Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planning for facilitating tap water supply, Shekhawat said by year 2024, each house will get tap water supply. “Seventy-three years after the country got independence, only 18 per cent of rural population receives tap water. All departments have been told to gear up for attaining the objective of reaching all houses for tap water by 2024. We are working on it despite the countrywide lockdown,” said Shekhawat.

Has the coronavirus pandemic come in the way of the Government mission? The Minister acknowledged that some work has been disrupted, but all the work can be given fresh impetus as soon as the lockdown ends. “We have already started work in that direction.”

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