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Ministry of Jal Shakti

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Asserts Country’s Development and Self-Reliance is Dependent on Water Security and Water Connectivity

PM Launches ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch The Rain’ Campaign on the Occasion of World Water Day

Union Minister of Jal Shakti Signs Historic Agreement for Ken-Betwa Link Project with Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh

Posted On: 22 MAR 2021 5:44PM by PIB Delhi

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign on occasion of World Water Day via video conferencing, here today. A historic Memorandum of Agreement was also signed between the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh,in the presence of the Prime Minister, to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project, the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers. The Prime Minister also interacted with sarpanches and ward panches in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that on International Water Day, a major step has also been taken for the Ken-Betwa Link Canal along with the introduction of the Catch the Rain campaign. He added this agreement is important to realize the vision and dream of Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee for interlinking of rivers. He said that today’s agreement will be in the interest of millions of families of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. PM asserted that rapid development is not possible without water security and effective water management. He added that the vision of India's development and India's self-reliance, is dependent on our water sources and our Water Connectivity.

The Prime Minister noted that the challenge of the water crisis is increasing equally with India’s development. He said it is the responsibility of the present generation of the country to fulfill its responsibility for the generations to come. He asserted that the government has made water governance a priority in its policies and decisions. In the last 6 years, many steps have been taken in this direction. He talked about Pradhan Mantri Krishi SinchaiYojna, water campaign to every farm –‘Har Khet ko Paani’, 'Per Drop More Crop' campaign and NamamiGange Mission, Jal Jeevan Mission or Atal Bhujal Yojana. He said work is being undertaken rapidly on all these schemes.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the better India manages rainwater, the lesser the country's dependence on groundwater. Therefore, success of campaigns like 'Catch the Rain' is very important. He noted that both urban and rural areas have been included in the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. He called upon to step up water conservation efforts in the days leading upto Monsoon. Emphasizing the importance of sarpanches and DMs/DCs, The Prime Minister said that the ‘Jal Shapath’ which is being organized all over the country should become everybody’s pledge and second nature. He said when our nature changes with respect to water, nature will also support us.

The Prime Minister noted that apart from rain water harvesting, the management of river water in our country has also been discussed for decades. To save the country from a water crisis, it is now necessary to work rapidly in this direction. He said the Ken-Betwa Link Project is also part of this vision. He lauded both the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for making this project a reality.

The Prime Minister said just 1.5 years ago, just 3.5 crore out of 19 crore rural families in our country, got piped drinking water. He expressed happiness that after the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, about 4 crore new families have piped drinking water connections in such a short time. He noted that public participation and local governance model are at the core of the Jal Jeevan Mission.

The Prime Minister remarked that for the first time after independence, a government is working so seriously with regard to water testing. He pointed out that rural sisters and daughters have been made stakeholders in this campaign of water testing. He said during the COVID-19 period itself, about 4.5 lakh women were trained for water testing. Every village is getting at least 5 trained women for water testing. Better results are a certainty with increased participation of women in water governance, the Prime Minister concluded.

Addressing the event Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that today is a historic day which shall be positively etched in the history of water management in India. Shri Shekhawat said that the consensus for Ken Betwa Link Project has been achieved through positive interventions of the Central Govt. which is working relentlessly under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the field of water management. The signing of MoU shall pave way for country’s first ever interlinking of river project.  The agreement is exemplary for other States to follow and truly upholds the tenets of cooperative federalism.

Shri Shekhawat said the country wide Jal Shakti Abhiyan “Catch the rain when it falls, where it falls” launched by PM today aim at nudging the Govt authorities as well as the general public to create capacities for tapping rain water. He said that all these measures being taken by the Union Government reflect the seriousness it accords to integrated water management in the country.

Speaking on the sidelines, the Minister of State for Jal Shakti Shri Rattan Lal Kataria said that the dream of our ex-Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, is soon going to translate into reality. The States of UP and MP have reached an agreement on water sharing from the proposed Ken-Betwa Interlinking of river project. He congratulated the States, NWDA - National Water Development Authority and all officials of Jal Shakti Ministry for their sincerity and dedication in implementing this ambitious scheme. Moreover, Andaman and Nicobar has declared itself as the 3rd State/UT to have achieved 100% target of providing functional household tap water under the Jal Jeevan Mission, he added.

Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.  The Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh participated in the event via video conferencing.



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