Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today asserted that flow of raw sewage into the river Ganga will be completely stopped by 2022 and the government is working on a Mission Mode to achieve this target. Addressing a National Conference-cum-Exhibition & Awards- “Innovative Water Solutions” here, the Minister said that the States of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have already achieved this feat and promised to make Ganga fit for holy rituals by this December. He said, everybody from common men to Corporates have to come on board to achieve this mission, as India can’t afford the duality of scarcity of safe drinking water on one hand and wastage of 25 odd litres of water in shower bath. Shri Shekhawat said that he is ready to sit with the Corporates to chalk out a viable strategy for industrial use of water and discharge of untreated industrial waste into the rivers. He also asked ASSOCHAM to find out what portion of CSR funds are being spent on water issues, which he pointed out that it is a meagre 3 percent.
Shekhwat said that though India is having 18 percent of the world population and an equal percentage of livestock, but our share of water is less than 4 percent and that too is mostly contaminated. He said that everyone should introspect that why India’s rank is 122nd in the World in terms of contamination.
Laying stress that providing piped safe drinking water to every household by 2024 is a stupendous task like cleaning of rivers, the Minister said that these tasks should not be viewed as governmental schemes, rather entire society should come forward in a responsible manner to achieve these goals through “daily audit of actions”.
In his address, President ASSOCHAM, B.K.Goenka said that Water has become a national priority and suggested that the Centre, States and Industry should all work together in a holistic manner to find a scalable, solvable and affordable solution to tide over the problem of water scarcity in India. He said that ASSOCHAM wants to play an important role in this noble mission and can act as a bridge between the Government and the Industry to find out workable solutions.
The Minister also released a EY-ASSOCHAM report titled “Think-Blue” Effective Water Management: Integrating Innovation & Technology.