India has the highest dependency on ground water resources in the world, much ahead of China and USA and the government is taking steps to replenish the dipping water table in the country, stated Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India. He was speaking at an interactive session on Water Stewardship: Key to Sustainability in India, organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), on 24th May 2022.
Shri Shekhawat said that the Government of India has undertaken a lot of work to address water scarcity through programmes like Jal Jeevan Mission, Namami Ganga mission. Further, he highlighted that when the government decided on the steps to replenish the water sources in the soil, it was important to first understand the total ground water resources that it had.
He explained that the government successfully used the heli-borne technology to map the total groundwater in the country. He said that these measures are necessary if we aim to conserve water to be passed on to the next generation.
Speaking at the event at PHD Chamber, New Delhi, Hon’ble Minister said that water plays a very important role in the economic development of any country. If we examine the economic growth graph of the country, it exhibits a similar pattern with its energy and water consumption, he added.
He said that India is working towards food sufficiency and has the capacity of becoming the agriculture powerhouse, mainly because of the tube-well technology.
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He explained that India has a larger challenge as compared to other nations as the country has the second largest population with almost 15 percent of the world’s population living here. It also has 18-20 percent of the world’s cattle living here, however India only has 4 percent of the world’s potable water, he said.
Despite of the different climatic zones with inequitable water distribution, India also has 93 percent of water dependence on monsoons. He emphasised on cleaning reservoirs, water conservation, recycling and reusing water to save water for our future generations.
Shri Pradeep Multani, President, PHDCCI stated that PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been aligned to the goals set by the central government in achieving a USD 5 trillion economy. He said that the industry has been working with the Ministry of Jal Shakti in align with water conservation initiatives to bring water in every household.
Lauding the efforts taken by the Central government, Dr. Mahesh Gupta, Former President, PHDCCI, said that the government has managed to bring water to every household in the country after 75 years of Independence. Disparities in the water distribution are areas of concern in the future so, Dr Mahesh Gupta has suggested that there is a need to conserve and efficiently use water.
According to Dr Gupta, shortage of water is due to climate change. The groundwater table has been going down every year. So, there is a need to change our habits and take adequate steps to conserve water, he added.
Shri Sharad Jaipuria, Chairman, PHD Rural Development Foundation (RDF) and Former President, PHDCCI said that when the RDF was set up in the year 1981, the idea was to act as a catalyst and facilitate people to achieve self- reliance and help in the integration of national schemes. The RDF is working in 14 states and has undertaken initiatives which have helped more than 6.5 lakh people, he said.
Shri Jaipuria also informed that the foundation has helped in setting up 300 check dams in the last 2 years. The vision of the foundation is to encourage farmers for alternative livelihoods and double farmers’ income. Due to these efforts, productivity of farmers has increased and they are able to grow three crops as compared to one earlier, he said.
Shri Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI stated that water stewardship is the key to sustainability and the future war would be held due to water shortage. PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been leading from the front in this regard and almost two lakh people have benefitted from this initiative.
On the occasion, a report on Ease of Doing Business for the MSME sector in India: Percolating EODB Reforms at Factory Level was also released, by the Hon’ble Minister.
The session concluded with the formal vote of thanks by Shri Sanjeev Agrawal, Vice President, PHDCCI.
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