New Delhi: Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is committed to providing clean drinking water to every household by the year 2024.
Addressing reporters at an interaction in Delhi, Shekhawat said, "We are working with the commitment to provide clean drinking water to every household, by 2024. This is our priority." He also outlined that the availability of water is a concern for the whole world and India.
"We have the largest human population and livestock population and per capita availability of water is less. The per capita availability of water that we had in 1950 has reduced considerably and is about one-third of that amount whereas the population has become three times. From 5000 litre per capita water availability that we had then, it is nearly 1400 per capita now", Shekhawat added.
The Minister also underscored that providing water for every household was one of BJP's poll promises and added that the party will work towards fulfilling it. "There are over 14 crores such household where we have to provide water," he said. 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, Modi last month had assured that if voted back to power, his government would ensure the establishment of a separate Jal Shakti Ministry. "After May 23, when the Modi Government will once again assume office, there will be a separate Ministry for Jal Shakti. This Ministry will cater to many aspects relating to water," Prime Minister Modi had said.
"The NDA govt had devoted a lot of attention to Water resources. There will be a separate ministry for Jal Shakti to ensure clean water and top class irrigation water facilities for the farmers," he had added. From April to July every year, the water situation in at least eight states in the country usually remains grim. The Centre recently issued a drought advisory to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, asking them to use water judiciously in the coming weeks as water storage in dams dropped to a critical level.
With almost all of rural India depending on monsoon rain for agriculture and domestic purpose, there is a desperate need for water management on a war footing. BJP's manifesto had also promised to set up a unified Ministry of Water to end the water woes in the country.