Uttar Pradesh adjudged best state at National Water Awards 2022

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NEW DELHI :

Uttar Pradesh topped among all Indian states in terms of water conservation.

On Tuesday, President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the ‘best state’ award at the National Water Awards 2022.

President Kovind also launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign, 2022’.

Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu secured the second and third place, respectively. Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh topped in the Best District Category for the north zone, while Thiruvanathapuram in Kerala won the award for the south zone.

East Champaran district of Bihar and Indore in Madhya Pradesh won the respective awards for the east zone and West Zone.

Addressing the occassion, the President said that the presentation of National Water Awards for exemplary work in the field of water management, and expansion of the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ to underline the importance of water, is commendable.

“It gives me immense pleasure to launch ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain 2022’. The district magistrates and village sarpanchs play a crucial role in motivating the local populace for active participation of each individual in water conservation work. Everyone should pledge that just as the largest vaccination drive in history is being carried out in India, in the same way we all would make this campaign the biggest water conservation campaign in the history,” he said.

Water sources like ponds and lakes provide water to cities throughout the year. Unfortunately, due to the pressure of urbanisation, they have also disappeared. This has trickled water management upside down. The ground water levels are going down rapidly. On one hand, the cities have to draw water from faraway places and, on the other hand the streets are flooded in monsoons. The scientists and activists have also expressed their concerns about this paradox of water management during the last few decades.

The problem has become more serious in India because of the size of the population and the lack of fresh water resources. The availability of water is uncertain and depends largely on rainfall, the president added.

“The issue of water is a part of an even larger crisis of climate change. As climate changes, flood and drought conditions are becoming more frequent and more severe. The Himalayan glaciers are melting, and the sea level is rising. The serious consequences of such changes are coming to the fore, which are having an even worse impact on the lives of farmers, women and the poor. The water crisis has became an international crisis and it can take dire forms. Some defence experts have even said that in future it can become a major cause of international conflict. We all have to be alert to save humanity from such situations.”

The President said that to meet this challenge, the Government of India has adopted a new approach and methodology. They gave an early indication of change in 2014 by renaming the Ministry of Environment and Forests and incorporating ‘Climate Change’ in it. Moving forward in this direction, in the year 2019, by merging two ministries, the Ministry of Jal Shakti was formed to work in an integrated and holistic manner on the issue of water. 

“In order to make water everyone’s business and to make the Jal Andolan – a mass movement, the government launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ in 2019. In the same year ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ was also launched. Last year on the ‘World Water Day’, the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign was launched by the Prime Minister which was taken up in all districts in rural as well as urban areas of the country during the pre-monsoon and monsoon period.” 

 

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