RS members pitch for interlinking of rivers, rain water harvesting

Water, Crisis, Piped water - The Federal
Representative photo: iStock

Rajya Sabha MPs on Monday (June 24) raised the issue of growing drinking water crisis in different parts of the country and demanded immediate interventions such as inter-linking of rivers and rain water harvesting to recharge the ground water table.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Satyanarayan Jatiya (from BJP) said that parts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Karnataka have traditionally faced a water crisis but now the problem has extended to fresh areas.

“There has to be a permanent solution to drinking water crisis,” he said, suggesting that five big river inter-linking projects need to be taken up on a priority so as to make excess water of one area available to deficit regions.

Ashok Bajpai (from BJP) said that a NITI Aayog report has stated that there will be a water crisis in parts of the country next year. While Rewati Raman Singh (from SP) said that a solution to the water crisis was to be found urgently, Saroj Pandey (from BJP) stated that public awareness needs to be created on rain water harvesting so that the impending monsoon rains can be used to recharge the groundwater table.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said that the issue raised is important and he is willing to allow a short discussion on the issue if a notice for a short duration or a call attention is given. He advised members to consult amongst themselves and give such a notice.

T Subbarami Reddy (from Congress) raised the issue of rising population with India projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in coming years. He demanded that incentives and disincentives should be formulated to promote family planning.

Noting that the rise in population is putting a burden on the environment, economy, and giving rise to unemployment, he said that without incentives and disincentives, the population cannot be controlled.