Ministry of Jal Shakti in India

With the ever-increasing population in the world, the need and demand for water has been accelerating at a rate twice than that of the population. With water forming more than two- thirds of the total surface area of the Earth, that makes it one of the most vital resources available on the planet, without which the existence of biotic components cannot be imagined.

The population, growing at a rapid pace, is burdening the planet’s water resources, urging to fulfil the demands of water supply. The never-ending wants and dissatisfaction that prevail in human minds is, to some extent, leading to the destruction of the natural resources by using them inefficiently and without maintaining a balance with sustainable growth.

The ever- increasing demand for water has grabbed attention from every nook and cranny of the world, with every nation advancing efforts towards preventing the acts leading to its misuse and destruction and appointing strategies for its conservation.

Besides the preservation of world peace and ensuring security among the nations, the 120- nations- led Non- Aligned Movement has also laid emphasis on several other issues that may hamper the growth and development of the nations if not paid attention to.

Non-Aligned Movement is an organisation, evident from the strategies these nations work upon, which ensures the implementation and maintenance of acts towards the achievement of desired goals, of which sustainable development also forms a part.

Taking on the second consecutive term, for the new government in India, conservation and preservation of water tops the list of agendas set for the development of the nation. The Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, stressed on the need for active participation of leaders of the nation towards prioritising the water issue in all its different forms.

India, since 1985, has been serving a separate ministry for the development and regulation of water resources till now, but Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi taking on the new government has given rise to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, that was constituted on May 31, 2019 with the merger of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The initiative by him, towards the reinforcement of the management of water resources, delivery of potable water and sanitation, is the need of the hour, ensuring water security in the country along with a step forward towards the aim of delivery of safe and adequate water for the households.

Newly- formulated Ministry of Jal Shakti, led by Mr. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, aims to give a boost to government’s ambitious project by increasing piped water coverage to 100 per cent that currently is as low as 18 per cent. The government is making continuous efforts to make all the states adopt the similar approach for ensuring preservation and conservation of water resources.

Also, the Ministry aims to deliver potable water to every household by 2024. The initiative by the Indian government towards water conservation will ensure that it goes together with its supply.

The ever- rising count of the population with every single moment passing by, the creation of water availability data from different sources both in qualitative and quantitative terms at one platform, forms the need of the hour. Also, the plan ensures to deal with the international water conflicts along with inter- state water disputes.

With much emphasis on safe drinking water and sanitation, considered to be the basic human rights as they are requisite for sustainable livelihood, the United Nations World Water Development Report 2019 was launched on March 19, 2019 with the theme ‘Leaving No One Behind’.

The report suggested the ways and strategies towards ensuring improvements in water resources management, sanitation and access to water supply are supportive in dealing with various inequalities prevailing in the social and economic stature. The move aimed at taking everyone together and leaving no one behind, so that everyone could enjoy the benefits and opportunities that come their way.

The Non-Aligned Movement, since its inception has urged its Member-States for employing certain sustainable strategies to use water judiciously and put a check on its wastage as well.

Although nations all across the world are employing much needed reforms in their agendas of sustainable development, towards curbing the water crisis, the collaborative efforts from all of them are considered to be the priority, when water is a key resource in the ecosystem that is meant for all, be it the present generations or the ones’ to come.

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