New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned with his Mann Ki Baat radio address on Sunday with three requests to a nation staring at severe water crisis.
Pitching for a collective and creative effort to overcome the crisis, Modi appealed to all Indians to create awareness on water shortage, share knowledge of traditional methods of water storage and share information about individuals and NGOs working on water conservation.
“Water scarcity affects many parts of the country every year. You will be surprised that only 8% of the water received from rains in the entire year is harvested in our country. Now the time has come to find a solution to this problem. I believe, like the other problems in hand, we can also solve this predicament by the participation of people,” he said.
“There is no fixed way to conserve water. In different parts, different methods may be adopted but the aim is same - to conserve every drop of water,” the PM said.
Emphasising on the role to be played by the new Jal Shakti ministry, Modi also urged Indians to share ideas regarding water conservation using the hashtag #JanShakti4JalShakti.
Several metros, cities and villages of India are reeling under severe water shortage with drought-like situation in some areas. Water is typically scarce in the summer months, but the situation has been particularly grim this year in western and southern states that received below average rainfall in the 2018 monsoon season.
This year, the monsoon has delivered 38% lower-than normal or average rainfall since the start of the season on June 1, according to data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department.
After a weak start, monsoon rains, that water half of the country's farmlands lacking irrigation, have covered nearly half of the country and conditions are favourable for further advances into the central and western parts this week, a weather department official said.
India’s water demand is projected to be double its supply by 2030, the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog had said in a report last year.