Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed the ‘All India Annual State Ministers’ Conference on water’ – which brought together key policymakers to discuss the ways to harness water resources for sustainable development. The Union Jal Shakti Ministry organized the two-day national level conference in Bhopal on the theme of ‘Water [email protected]’.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the first All India Conference of Water Ministers of the country by shining the light on the unprecedented work done by India in areas of water security. The Prime Minister pointed out that in our constitutional system, the subject of water comes under the control of the states and it is the states’ efforts for water conservation that will go a long way in achieving the collective goals of the country. “Water Vision @ 2047 is an important dimension of the journey of Amrit Kaal for the next 25 years”, the Prime Minister remarked.
Reiterating his vision of ‘whole of government’ and ‘whole of country’ the Prime Minister emphasised that all governments should work like a system wherein there should be constant interaction and dialogue between different ministries of state governments, such as the Ministry of Water, Ministry of Irrigation, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Rural and Urban Development and disaster management. He further added that planning will get help if these departments have information and data related to each other.
Noting that success does not come from the efforts of the government alone, the Prime Minister drew attention to the role of public and social organisations and civil societies and asked for their maximum participation in the campaigns related to water conservation. The Prime Minister went on to explain that promoting public participation does not reduce the accountability of the government and it does not mean putting all the responsibility on the people. He further added that the biggest advantage of public participation is the awareness that is created among the public about the efforts being put into the campaign and the money being spent. “When the public is associated with a campaign, they also get to know the seriousness of the work. Due to this, a sense of ownership also comes in the public towards any scheme or campaign”, he added.
The Prime Minister gave the example of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and said, “When people joined the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a consciousness was awakened in the public as well.” Crediting the people of India for their efforts, the Prime Minister mentioned that the government took up many initiatives, be it collecting resources to remove filth, building various water treatment plants or constructing toilets, but the success of this campaign was ensured when the public decided that there should be no dirt at all. The Prime Minister emphasised the need to inculcate this idea of public participation towards water conservation and highlighted the impact that awareness can create.