APPEAL BY THE PRIME MINISTER ĎLET
US MAKE WATER CONSERVATION A NATIONAL MISSIONí
The following is
the appeal made by the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee
for making water conservation a national mission :
"I share the sense
of relief and satisfaction at the timely arrival and steady progress
of the monsoon in many States. Let us hope that all parts of our
country receive adequate and undelayed rains this year, bringing
smile on the face of our hard-working kisans, quenching the thirst
of our animals, and mitigating the shortage of drinking water
in our villages and towns.
At the start of the
rainy season this year, I have an appeal to all my countrymen:
Let us collectively address the problem of water shortage, which
is assuming crisis proportions with every passing year, by conserving
every drop of water. This problem can be dealt with effectively
only through a sustained partnership between citizens, peopleís
organizations, various water users and the government at all levels.
It calls for short-term as well as long-term measures, all of
which have to be taken up with utmost urgency and a sense of national
mission. Recognising the global nature of the problem, the United
Nations has called for observing 2004 as "The International Year
of Fresh Water". I would like to make five specific suggestions:
- Let every household, every housing
society and colony, every panchayat and municipal body consider
how it can save available water and implement rain water harvesting,
water recycling and other measures before the end of this rainy
- Individual farmers, farmersí cooperatives,
panchayats and district administrations in water-scarce areas
should take up necessary measures like construction of bunds
and check dams; desilting of ponds and well; repair of canals;
and adoption of drip, sprinkler and other water-saving irrigation
techniques. Implementation of the Union Governmentís schemes
like Swajaldhara and Hariyali, and similar schemes of State
Governments should be expedited.
- All industrial units, hotels and
commercial establishments, government offices, and other users
of water should conduct a water audit and see how significant
and targeted saving can be achieved. In this context, I have
directed the Prime Ministerís Office to implement a plan to
achieve at least a 10% reduction in the usage of water.
- Cleaning up our polluted rivers,
lakes and ponds, as well as measures to prevent their further
pollution should become a matter of widespread debate and action.
- Our scientists should take up
development of low-cost water-saving technologies as a major
In order to focus
the nationís attention on this issue, I suggest that we observe
July as "Water Month". This period may be used for conducting
mass awareness activities, shramdaan in schools, colleges and
workplaces; and seminars and workshops of various categories of
water users, etc. all over the country. In this endeavour, let
us be guided by the self-evident truth: "Water sustains life.
It is now our duty to sustain all sources of water."