Many communities still lack drinking water facilities and locally feasible technologies should urgently be introduced in such places to allow people to work towards economic progress instead of pursuing this basic need, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday.
“Too many communities in our country still lack basic water infrastructure. Considerable time and energy is spent by people collecting water instead of progressing to income -generating activities.”
“Proper water infrastructure would rejuvenate these populations. In fact, locally feasible technologies and marketable innovations should urgently be introduced in such locations,” he said at the concluding ceremony of the 4th India Water Week In New Delhi.
President Mukherjee also stressed on the need for promoting rainwater harvesting and linking these to rural development schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme so as to encourage water conservation.
He called for the preservation and safeguarding of depleting groundwater reserves.
“It is equally important for us to preserve and safeguard, to the maximum extent possible, our depleting groundwater. We must apply improved water-use technologies and better management techniques to our aquifers.”
“We must also strengthen our database on the quantum and quality of groundwater available to us so as to increase the efficacy of our policy interventions,” he said.
President Mukherjee also stressed the need to prioritise resilient eco-systems and provide modern data management systems and innovations in technology, adding that laws should serve to inculcate a respect among the people for the principle that water is a common legacy.
Speaking on the occasion, Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti said the completion of 31 ongoing projects, including river-linking projects, will lead to irrigation of 35 million hectares of land and generate 34,000MW electricity.
“If we are able to complete all 31 projects, then we will be able to irrigate 35 million hectares and generate 34,000MW electricity,” she said.