New Delhi, Sep 24: Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Sekhawat on Tuesday said India is aware of its responsibility towards securing a better future for 'our planet and we are determined to do the needful for accomplishing this goal'.
The theme of this year's India Water week inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind is 'Water cooperation: Coping with 21st Century Challenges'. Japan and European Union have associated as partner countries for this mega event.
Addressing the 6th India Water Week-2019 here, Mr Sekhawat said, 'India is eager to share the best practices and also to learn from experiences of others on all important issues relating to water, as such discussions help in fine tuning policies and strategies for optimal utilization of this valuable resource.'
India has forged and strengthened international cooperation with 14 countries like Israel, Canada, Japan, Germany and the UK in this regard, the Minister added.
He assured the international community present in the event that any idea, strategy or plan of action which can be worth sharing is welcome, as 'India is aware of its responsibility towards securing a better future for our planet and we are determined to do the needful for accomplishing this goal.'
The Minister said in the face of geographical diversity of India and the problems related to waters, Ministry has come up with Jal Shakti Abhiyan, which is a collaborative effort of the Centre and state government to accelerate progress on water conservation activities in the most water-stressed blocks and districts of India.
Under this campaign, the entire Union Government's machinery of over 1,000 senior Central government officers have joined the states to promote focused interventions for water collection and conservation, including restoration and renovation of traditional water bodies.
Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria said, 'Cooperation is a must for a sustainable tomorrow and Jal Shakti Ministry is an example in itself of such cooperation.'
He said for better water governance, the government has merged several departments related to water and sanitation into a new integrated Ministry of Jal Shakti. Prior to this landmark move, the institutional landscape for water in India had been somewhat fragmented, with about seven ministries and more than 10 departments having a say on different aspects of water and waste management. Now all these departments are working in cooperation with each other to achieve water security in the country.
Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation UP Singh said while challenges have always existed in the water sector, climate change is the new elephant in the room. He said, climate change has major implications on water resources and India is particularly vulnerable to this aspect. He, however added that the challenges of water management present an opportunity to convert risk to resilience, poverty to well-being and degraded ecosystems to vibrant ones.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti has been organising India Water Week since 2012 as an international event to focus on water related issues. Five editions of India Water Week have been organised so far. Water Resources Ministers of various States have attended the inaugural function. About 1,500 delegates from India and abroad are participating in this event, which includes about 63 delegates from 28 countries.
The event has been divided into seminars (15), brainstorming sessions (4 ), panel discussions (12) and special session (6). These events will take place at Vigyan Bhawan. Apart from this, an Exhibition showcasing the technologies and solutions in water resources sector is also being organised at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA). About 60 organisations are displaying their work in the exhibition. (UNI)