News18 on Tuesday launched the initiative Mission Paani to raise awareness on water conservation. The initiative's aim is to highlight the severity of the water crisis that plagues India.
According to statistics reported by News18, Mumbai receives over 4000 billion cubic metres (bcms) rainfall every year, but only 1/10th of that gets saved and reused for further use, which amounts to a mere 300 bcms of water.
At the event, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan lauded the initiative as a "historic" step towards creating a water-sufficient India. He said, "What will happen to us if there is no water? We need to give examples of how water conservation can be done."Bachchan also said that people in urban areas should set an example for the less privileged ones.
Narasimhan Eswar, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of RB Hygiene and Home, said, "Ever since the prime minister gave the call a few years ago for ‘Swachh Bharat’, we have been focused on the sanitation agenda."
Alongside News18, Harpic (a brand that is part of RB Hygiene and Home) co-hosted the event.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Rally for Rivers founder Jaggi Vasudev, Narasimhan Eswar and Nitin Gadkari also spoke at the event.
Jaggi Vasudev raised the issue of the depleting Cauvery basin. "In the last 50 years' time, Cauvery basin has depleted considerably," he said.
Speaking on his initiative of Rally For Rivers, he said that it is "an awareness program to change the policy of how we treat the rivers of our country. This land, this water, and this world are not just for human beings, there are also other lives, so water must flow."
Yogi Adityanath said that water has always been an important part of life and remarked that if crores of people come together, the mission of water conservation can be achieved. He further said, "Uttar Pradesh is the first state to set up its own water conservation ministry."
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke about the steps Maharashtra govt is taking to conserve water. He spoke about how new discharge norms are being taken up, and attempts are being made to treat the sewage water that is released, so that it can be re-pumped and reused.
He said that thousands of villages have taken up water conservation projects and water budgeting for better use of resources.
Nitin Gadkari was next to talk about Mission Paani. He said that the country does not have a "shortage of water but of planning." He recalled that he had asked the Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT to ensure that "not even a drop of waste water goes into the sea."
He listed out various measures being taken by the government to conserve water. He said, "We have ensured that several buses and trucks run on bio-CNG, and will be doing more of this in the coming months."
Updated Date: Aug 27, 2019 17:10:19 IST