Sham for massive awareness campaign on judicious use of water
Srinagar : Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Mr. Sham Lal Sharma has called for a massive awareness campaign to educate masses about the conservation and judicious use of water. He said that “Water is precious for life as such it is our paramount duty to ensure its proper use and educate others to conserve it by taking effective measures for safeguarding our better tomorrow”.
Addressing a large gathering of civil society and other stakeholders at a one-day seminar on “Role of Civil Society in Conservation of Water” in Kashmir University, here today, the Minister said that availability of clean drinking water is a global challenge in view of the ever growing demand and it is the need of the hour to make collective efforts to preserve it to the extent possible. He said only Government efforts are not sufficient but entire society has to contribute in this noble cause, otherwise days are not far away when civil wars will ensue over this precious commodity.
The seminar was organized by the Department of PHE in collaboration with the National Development Foundation (NDF) and Communication & Capacity Development Unit (CCDU) to create awareness amongst various stakeholders about the conservation and judicious use of water.
Minister of State for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Mr. Nazir Ahmed Khan (Gurezi), Chairperson, J&K State Water Regulatory Authority, Mr. S.S.Kapoor and Commissioner/Secretary, PHE, Dr. Pawan Kotwal were also present on the occasion.
Seeking whole hearted support from each segment of the society for preservation of water in different forms, the Minister said that Government has already initiated several measures to ensure safe drinking water in every area including rural areas. The Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) have been activated and asked to play their role in ensuring safe drinking water at the grass root level and creating awareness amongst the village folks about the importance and judicious use of water. He said that instructions have already been passed to the agency (CCDU) to make available water testing kits to the Panchayat Members and providing necessary training for undertaking water tests so that neat and clean drinking water is ensured in the rural areas. He said that similar awareness workshops will be organized at the block level to educate the rural people about the significance of water and its proper uses.
Addressing the seminar, Mr. Gurezi stressed the need for reviving traditional water resources in rural areas to overcome scarcity of water. He said that Panchayts have significant role in creating awareness amongst the rural people about the usages of water. He also sought active involvement of civil society and various stakeholders in preservation and sanitation of water.
He appreciated the role of NDF and CCDU for their awareness campaign and asked them to step up efforts and reach out in the interiors to educate the people about the water usages. He said in Jammu and Kashmir the situation is not that much alarming and still lot of raw water is available, but “we have to take timely measures to maintain the water table to meet our future requirements also”, he added.
Mr. S. S. Kapoor called for proper implementation of Water Regulatory Act to ensure judicious use of water. He said that Government has created a full-fledged authority to bring reforms in the existing water scenario and proper usages of raw and drinking water. He suggested several measures to conserve water. He asked the participants to take full benefits of the seminar and spread the awareness in their homes and neighborhoods. He also sought suggestions from the stakeholders to promote the cause of safe drinking water in the state.
Dr. Kotwal also suggested tips for conservation of water. He sought cooperation from the entire society for ensuring safe drinking water in the State.
Senior Consultant on Water Management, Government of India, Mr. Ghulam Rasool Zargar, Chief Engineer, PHE, Kashmir, Mr. A.M. Lanker, Executive Director, CCDU, Ms. Bharti Vaid, Chief Functionary, NDF, Mr. Rajiv Khajuria and several other speakers from the civil society also addressed the gathering and shared their views on the subject.
Earlier, the Ministers released a hand book containing the information about the conservation and usages of water, jointly published by the CCDU, WSSO and SWSM.
Inspector General of Police, Mr. H.K. Lohia, Chief Engineer, Irrigation & Flood Control, Kashmir, Mir Javed Jaffer, State Coordinator, CCDU, Dr. Narinder Singh Butyal, several faculty members of Kashmir University, engineers, teachers, large number of Members of civil society, NGOs, doctors, ASHA workers, Members of PRIs and other stakeholders from across the State were present on the occasion.