In his radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people of the country to come together and start a mass movement in the country on water conservation.
Prime Minister Modi said, "Everyone should lead this movement in their own fashion. We must wake up the society, unite the society and join the society in this endeavour. You will see, we will find change occurring in front of our eyes."
He made a strong pitch for Janbhagidari (people's participation), appealing people to join hands to save water by adopting water conservation methods.
“Just 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. We can solve this predicament by the participation of the people, Janbhagidari and their power. Just like cleanliness drive has been given the shape of a mass movement by the countrymen, let's also start a mass movement for water conservation,” the Prime Minister added.
He asked people to share information with the Government about the groups of people and non-government organisations who have been making “significant contributions” towards water conservation “in order to create an intensive database of individuals and organizations dedicated to water preservation.”
“I wrote a letter to Gram Pradhans on the importance of water conservation and how to take steps to create awareness on the subject across rural India,” the Prime Minister said. He also said that he was happy to see greater awareness on water conservation.
He made three requests regarding the matter in his programme.
His first request: Just like cleanliness drive has been given the shape of a mass movement, let's also start a mass movement for water conservation
His second request: Share many traditional methods that have been in use over the centuries in our country for the conservation of water. I urge you all to share these traditional methods of water conservation.
His third request: Share the information concerning the people who are making significant contributions towards water conservation.
However, Modi did not outline any specific measures his Government would take to deal with the ongoing situation, which has already affected the sowing of summer crops and forced many communities to buy water from expensive private tankers.
Several parts of Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, is facing severe water shortage since last month owing to poor storage in various reservoirs following deficit rainfall.
India is facing the worst water crisis in its history, according to a NITI Aayog report. Twenty-one Indian cities, it has been predicted, will run out of groundwater by 2020, and 40% of the country’s population may not have access to clean drinking water by 2030. NITI Aayog has also stated that India stands on the 120th position out of 122 countries in water quality index.