New Delhi: Asserting that the reports of water crisis are exaggerated, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday stated that there is surplus water in dams and reservoirs in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and other areas.
Addressing reporters after a meeting with different state representatives on the issue of water conservation and drinking water, Shekhawat said, "The dams whose storage are monitored at the Central government level have 14 per cent more water as compared to last year. If I see the 10-year average, then also the amount of water is more than the average. In Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and other areas, there is surplus water in the dams and reservoirs, more than what is necessary. So I think the reports of the water crisis in dams aren't that worrying as being portrayed by the media." In reply to a question, he also informed that all states other than West Bengal were represented by a minister of a secretary-level officer in the meeting.
"Water is a state subject as per the constitution. But Narendra Modi government has believed that both centre and state should work in tandem to better the situation", Shekhawat said during his interaction. Highlighting the need for adopting immediate measures to conserve water, he also said that in the coming 30 years the gap between water availability and water required is going to reach up to 43 per cent. It must be noted that Jal Shakti Ministry has been created recently in the second term of PM Narendra Modi led NDA government. It has been made by reorganising the earlier Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, which was held by Nitin Gadkari in the previous government. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has also been added to it.
During an election rally in Tamil Nadu, PM Narendra Modi last month had assured that if voted back to power, his government would ensure the establishment of a separate Jal Shakti Ministry. BJP's manifesto had also promised to set up a unified Ministry of Water to end the water woes in the country.