Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India’s development and self-reliance is dependent on water security and water connectivity.
Launching Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign virtually on the occasion of World Water Day, Mr Modi said water security and water management is crucial for the future of coming generations.
He noted that the challenge of the water crisis is increasing equally with India’s development.
Prime Minister said it is the responsibility of the present generation of the country to fulfil its responsibility for the generations to come. He asserted that the government has made water governance a priority in its policies and decisions.
In the last 6 years, many steps have been taken in this direction. He talked about Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna, water campaign to every farm – Har Khet ko Paani, ‘Per Drop More Crop’ campaign and Namami Gange Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission and Atal Bhujal Yojana. Mr Modi said work is being undertaken rapidly on all these schemes.
Prime Minister noted that the awareness around Jal Shakti Mission is increasing. He expressed happiness that villagers are trying to save rainwater and educate others to promote efficient use of water.
Mr Modi said water is more precious than money but there has been a lack in preserving water resources.
Mr Modi emphasised that if India manages rainwater better, it will reduce the country’s dependence on groundwater.
Therefore, running campaigns like ‘Catch the Rain’, and being successful in it are very important. He said losses during droughts can be controlled if more water is saved during rains.
Interacting with Santosh, a sarpanch from Pune, Maharashtra, Mr Modi stressed that sugarcane can grow through drip irrigation and sprinkles too.
He said it will not only save water resources but also increase profits. Interacting with Vidya Ben from Gujarat, the Prime Minister said Aadiwasi people have always put their faith in water and treated it as a stream of development.
He added that if country learns this faith from Aadiwasi people, water problems will be solved.
On the occasion, Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh signed the historic Memorandum of Agreement to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project.
This is the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers. This project involves transfer of water from the Ken to the Betwa River through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers.
It will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hactare, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 Mega Watt of hydropower.
The Project will be of immense benefit to the water starved region of Bundelkhand, especially to the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.
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