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Prime Minister Modi asks states to explore option of water budget at Panchayat level, calls for better coordination among states and ministries | India News

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for his vision of ‘whole of government’ and ‘whole of country’, emphasising how all governments should work like an “organic entity” wherein there should be constant interaction and dialogue between different ministries to get desired results. He also called for involving people in any campaign for its success, saying “Jan Bhagidari” (public participation) develops a “sense of ownership” among the citizens, and asked states to adopt ways where the “water budget” is prepared at the Panchayat level based on how much water is required in which village and what work can be done for it.
“Working of all governments like a system and like an organic entity is an aspect of ‘whole of government’. Even in states, there should be constant interaction and dialogue, and a clarity of vision among different ministries/departments such as water resources, irrigation, agriculture, rural development, animal husbandry, urban development and disaster management,” said Modi while addressing the first all India conference of states’ ministers on water through video-conference.
His remarks on dealing with silo mentality or turf issues came in the context of India’s preparedness for water conservation where he pointed out that in the country’s 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.
The Prime Minister noted that sharing of information and data related to respective ministries or departments (both at Centre and within states) would always help in planning and execution of works. He also called for attention to the conservation of all local sources of water and reiterated that ‘Gram Panchayats’ should prepare an action plan for the next 5 years where a roadmap ranging from water supply to cleanliness and waste management should be considered.
The theme of the two-day conference, being held in Bhopal, is ‘Water Vision @ 2047’ and the objective of the forum is to bring together key policymakers for discussions on ways to harness water resources for sustainable development.
“Water Vision @ 2047 is an important dimension of the journey of ‘Amrit Kaal’ for the next 25 years”, said the Prime Minister while calling for increasing role of works under MGNREGA, crop diversification, afforestation, micro-irrigation programme and conservation of groundwater under ongoing Atal Bhujal Yojana for conserving water across the country.
Underlining the need to increase forest cover in the state for water conservation, Modi called for coordinated efforts by the ministry of environment and the ministry of water resources.
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.
He explained 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 said 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,” he said while citing an example of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He said, “When people joined the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a consciousness was awakened in the public as well.”
He also emphasised the need to connect technology, industry, and startups to identify problems and find solutions and mentioned technologies like geo-sensing and geo-mapping that can be of great help in water conservation efforts.
Highlighting the importance of the circular economy in the field of water conservation, the Prime Minister informed that the government has laid a lot of emphasis on circular economy in this budget. “When treated water is reused, fresh water is conserved, it benefits the entire ecosystem. That’s why water treatment/recycling is essential”, he said.
He emphasised that states have to find ways to increase the use of ‘treated water’ for various purposes. “Our rivers, our water bodies are the most important part of the entire water ecosystem”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined the need for creating a network of waste management and sewage treatment in every state.
“By making the Namami Gange Mission (Ganga Rejuvenation programme) a template, other states can also start similar campaigns for the conservation of rivers. It is the responsibility of every state to make water a subject of cooperation and coordination”, said the Prime Minister.



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