NEW DELHI: Putting a spotlight on the grim outlook on water quality in the country, NITI Aayog stated that about 70 per cent of the water in the country is contaminated and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water.
The think tank panel noted that currently about 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and predicted that 40 per cent of India’s population will have no access to water supply by 2030.
Releasing the first of its kind report on Water Management Index for states, NITI Aayog underlined that India ranked 120 out of 122 countries on the water quality index.
While three-fourths of the households in the country are without access to drinking water, NITI Aayog stated that a whopping 84 per cent of the people in the rural parts of the country are without a piped water supply.
The NITI Aayog further pointed out that states scoring poorly on the Water Management Index account for half the population and food basket of the country.
Ranking Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh at top two positions on Water Management Index, the NITI Aayog in its maiden report on the subject found Jharkhand and Haryana to be worst performers. The think tank panel also ruled that most of the states don’t have a well-developed mechanism to compile data on water management while slamming them for not prioritising water quality improvement.
The panel noted that while 45 per cent of the population in the non-Himalayan states are charged for water, only 37 per cent in the Himalayan states paid for access to water.
The report was released by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who holds the portfolio of water resources, in the presence of the vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar.
In North-eastern and Himalayan states, Tripura has been adjudged as the top state in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam. In terms of incremental change in the index (over 2015-16 level), Rajasthan holds top position in general states and Tripura amongst North-eastern and the Himalayan States. “NITI Aayog proposes to publish these ranks on an annual basis in future,” Kumar told reporters.