NEW DELHI: Pitching for a mass movement for water conservation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday shared his concerns over the prevailing drought situation in various parts of the country. However he pinned hopes on the coming monsoon, which is predicted to bring up to 110 per cent of rainfall.
Speaking in his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, he said the concern was natural, particularly since prolonged drought led to a drop in water tables in reservoirs.
“To fight the drought and water scarcity, the governments will do its work. But I have seen people also make their own efforts. In several villages, awareness has been seen with regard to the value of water and in such places, there is sensitivity and a will to do something to conserve water,” he said. He referred to the weather forecast which had predicted that the country will receive 106 per cent to 110 per cent rainfall during this monsoon and said such good news always brought peace.
“But this news brings new awareness also...While the news about good rainfall brings comfort, it also provides an opportunity and a challenge. Can we run a movement from village to village to preserve water?... To whatever extent possible, we must save water” PM said.
“Rain water should be preserved. The water of a village should remainthere itself. If we make a resolve to do this, it is possible through a mass campaign. So even though we have a water crisis now, we have one and a half months to prepare,”
The Prime Minister cited how in Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace, Porbandar, tanks had been built beneath the houses which are even 200 years old. He also gave examples witnessed at various places, like the changing of the crop pattern in view of scarce water and the adoption of sprinklers, drip irrigation, water harvesting and water recharging methods.
Modi said he had been told that in Devas district of Madhya Pradesh, a Panchayat had been making efforts to build farm ponds, 27 of which hadbeen constructed, resulting in a rise in the groundwater level. Such methods also lead to an improvement in the quality of water and pure water becomes a reason for GDP growth as well, he said. He hailed the Railways for the quickness it displayed in ferrying water to the water-starved areas in Maharashtra.