Per capita availability of water has fallen, need to ensure clean drinking water for every household by 2024, says Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat

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. "We are working with the commitment to provide clean drinking water to every household, by 2024. This is our priority," said Shekhawat during an interaction with reporters in Delhi.

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 5,000 litre per capita water availability that we had then, it is nearly 1,400 per capita now," Shekhawat added.

 Per capita availability of water has fallen, need to ensure clean drinking water for every household by 2024, says Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat

File image Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Image courtesy Twitter

The Minister also underscored that providing water for every household was one of the BJP's poll promises and added that the party will work towards fulfilling it. "There are over 14 crore households where we have to provide water," he said.

The Jal Shakti Ministry has been created in the second term of the Modi government. It has been made by reorganising the 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 23 May, 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," Modi had said.

"The NDA government 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 the monsoon for agricultural and domestic purposes, 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.

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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2019 11:11:52 IST