New Delhi, Aug 15 : Stressing the importance of water conservation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a new initiative to provide clean drinking water to every household and allocate 3.5 lakh crore rupees for the project.
In his Independence Day speech at the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister said the new programme has to be implemented at the grassroots level with the Centre and states working in tandem.
"Today I announce, in the coming days we are going to start Jal Jeevan Mission with an allocation of 3.5 lakh crore rupees and both Center and States are going to work together on this Mission", Mr Modi said. He pointed out that half of India does not have access to water and added that "we have made water for all a priority".
"Every government at the Centre and various states, irrespective of which party they belonged to, have worked for the welfare of the people in earlier years. But it is unfortunate that so many people still have no access to water even 70 years after Independence, he said.
Referring to an anecdote, the Prime Minister cautioned, "100 years ago a monk had written that one day will come when we will by drinking water from the grocery stores, and today that day has come". Stressing that the new initiative should not become mere government programme, he said, the mission towards water conservation has to take place at the grassroots level and added "just like Swachhta Mission this should be a people’s mission.”
After its reelection in May 2019, the Modi government had formed Ministry of Jal Shakti by merging two Ministries- Ministry of Water resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
In his address, the Prime Minister said - "Today, when we are marking Independence Day, many of our citizens are suffering due to floods in various parts of the country. We stand in solidarity with those who are affected by the floods".