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PM Modi Stresses on Public Participation, Says Govt's Efforts Alone are Insufficient!

Ministry of Jal Shakti is organizing the "1st All India Annual State Ministers Conference on Water" with the theme "Water Vision@2047" on the 5th and 6th of January, 2023 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

Shivam Dwivedi
PM Narendra Modi calling for greater public awareness of the value of water conservation
PM Narendra Modi calling for greater public awareness of the value of water conservation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of public participation in water conservation on Thursday, saying that government efforts alone will not be successful. "When the public is involved in a campaign, they learn about the importance of the work. As a result, the public gains a sense of ownership in any scheme or campaign," Modi said in his virtual address to the first national conference of state water ministers in Bhopal. 


He said water should be a topic of cooperation, collaboration, and coordination among states, and he urged them to plan ahead of time given the rapid pace of urbanization. The remarks are significant because some states have been at odds for decades over water sharing.

According to the prime minister, the subject of water is under the control of states under our constitutional system. Their efforts will go a long way toward achieving the country's collective goals. "Water Vision@2047 is an important dimension of Amrit Kaal's journey over the next 25 years," Modi said. He said that water should receive the most attention under the MGNREGA scheme, urging people to become more aware of the importance of conservation. He said that water is most consumed in industries and agriculture, and awareness should be spread among them, advocating crop diversity and natural farming.

Noting that success does not come solely from the government's efforts, the prime minister drew attention to the role of public and social organizations and civil societies and asked for their full participation in water conservation campaigns. He said that encouraging public participation does not mean reducing government accountability or shifting all responsibility to the people. According to Modi, the most significant benefit of public participation is increased public awareness of campaign efforts and expenditures.


"A consciousness was awakened in the public when people joined the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan," he said. Modi praised the people of India for their efforts, saying that while the government took many initiatives, such as collecting resources to remove filth, building various water treatment plants, and constructing toilets, the campaign's success was ensured when the public decided that there should be no dirt at all. The prime minister emphasized that all governments should function as a system, with constant interaction and dialogue between various ministries of state governments. Planning will be aided if these departments share information and data.

"We can organize 'Water Awareness Festivals,' or an event related to water awareness can be added to local fairs," he proposed. According to him, the country is building 75 Amrit Sarovar in each district, with 25,000 already completed. As part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, Mission Amrit Sarovar aims to develop and revitalize 75 water bodies in each country district. Each Sarovar will be one acre in size and will hold approximately 10,000 cubic meters of water. Modi also emphasized the importance of connecting technology, industry, and startups to identify problems and find solutions, mentioning geo-sensing and geo-mapping technologies. He emphasized the importance of developing government policies and bureaucratic procedures to address water-related issues at the policy level.

Modi emphasized the success of the 'Jal Jeevan Mission' as a significant development parameter for a state to provide water to every household, saying many states have done well and many are moving forward in this direction. He stated that once this system is in place, we should ensure its maintenance in the same manner in the future. He proposed that panchayats lead the Jal Jeevan Mission, saying, "Every gram panchayat can also submit a monthly or quarterly report online stating the number of houses in the village that are getting tap water." 


He also cited the Atal Bhujal Sanrakshan Yojana, where watershed work is required on a large scale in all districts for groundwater recharge. He emphasized the need to accelerate development work to revitalize spring sheds in hilly areas. The prime minister called for coordinated efforts by the Environment and Water Ministries to increase forest cover for water conservation. Modi also urged states to create water budgets at the panchayat level based on how much water is needed in each village and what work can be done to provide it.

The prime minister emphasized the 'Catch the Rain' campaign, saying that such campaigns should become an essential part of state governments and be evaluated annually. Drives for the construction of check dams and water harvesting pits are part of the rainwater harvesting campaign. It also looks into encroachment removal and tank desilting. "Rather than waiting for the rains, all planning should be done before the rains," Modi said. The prime minister also emphasized the importance of the circular economy in water conservation, stating that the government has prioritized the issue in the budget.

"When treated water is reused, fresh water is conserved and benefits the entire ecosystem. That is why water treatment and recycling are critical." He emphasized that states must find ways to increase the use of "treated water" for various purposes. "Our rivers and water bodies are the most important part of the entire water ecosystem," the prime minister said, emphasizing the importance of establishing a waste management and sewage treatment network in each state.


"By making the Namami Gange Mission a template, other states can also start similar campaigns to conserve rivers. It is every state's responsibility to make water a topic of cooperation and coordination," the prime minister said. The all-India water ministers' meeting, themed 'Water Vision@2047,' brings together key policymakers to discuss "ways to harness water resources for sustainable development," according to the government.


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