Launching News18’s Mission Paani campaign to raise awareness on water conservation, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan on Tuesday lauded the initiative as a “historic” step towards creating a water-sufficient India.
“What can happen to us if there is no water? We need to give such examples and also examples of how water conservation can be done. Every individual has to do something to make it count,” Bachchan said.
Hailing News18 for the campaign, he also said that the campaign of this magnitude spreads the message to the entire nation. "It took 8 years to get India free from polio and it wasn’t an easy job but we carried on and on, trying to pursue people," Bachchan added.
The veteran actor also talked about various measures to conserve water and said, “Approximately, a person uses more than 140 buckets of water on themselves per year. We need to lessen that."
"The land-mass erosion problem is so evident. We used to stay at a hotel in Goa for film shoots where there was a lovely beach. But a couple of years ago when I went there, there was no beach left. It has come right up to the hotel. The erosion is taking place slowly and it's disheartening to see that happening. Somewhere all of us have to start doing things to preserve the water system," the 76-year-old actor added.
He also talked about the importance of sharing this information to children and talking about what was going to happen in the years to come to slowly inculcate some kind of a culture in them which goes with the thinking of noble people.
Extending support to the campaign, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the state government will work with Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan towards the cause of conserving water.
Speaking at the launch event of Harpic-News18 Mission Paani campaign, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said about various measures being taken by the government to conserve water. "Having a desalination plant to generate power is cheaper," he said.
"We have converted buses and trucks into bio-CNG and will be doing more in the coming months," Gadkari added.
Pointing the damage caused to the environment, the Union minister further said, “Imagine the number of people living along the coastline discharging their waste into the ocean.” He also suggested that the water from the Godavari needs to be tapped first to be released in the ocean.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who virtually joined the Mission Paani launch event, said, "UP is the first state to set up its own water conservation ministry...Water conservation can be achieved if crores of people come together."
A Niti Ayog report has warned that 40 per cent of India's population will have no access to drinking water by 2030. Three rivers, five wetlands, six forests and four water bodies have already dried in Chennai despite having better water resources and rains than any other metro cities, the report said.
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