Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 22 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu while presiding over State Level 'World Water Day' function on Wednesday stated that the day is all about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis because water affects us all and we need everyone to take early action.
He also stressed upon the importance of water conservation and creating awareness about its worth.
He emphasized and exhorted for a behavioral change in water usage and its management. According to a report by 2030, forty per cent of the population would have to experience a shortage of water to quench their thirst, he said. "We need to keep the Blue to keep the Green".
"Over and above the adverse effects of climate change, with less or untimely rains and snow has resulted in drying of water resources which was a matter of great concern," said the Chief Minister.
Every section of society needs to work together to maintain and protect these vital water resources.
Sukhu said, "In times to come, the water of our rivers can be an asset of revenue generation but for that, we need to adopt 'Green Measures' so as to minimize the impact of Global warming on the Himalayan glaciers and our ecosystem."He stressed adopting modern technology in the Jal Shakti Department so as to accelerate the pace of the work. The State Government is planning to provide clean water through UV rays technology and to achieve the target to make Himachal a 'Green Energy State' by March 31, 2026, the Government is going to ink an agreement for green hydrogen generation.
To make Himachal Pradesh financially strong and self-reliant again, he said that few radical changes and tough decisions were to be adopted, and if required, there can be changes in the rules and the law.
"In the next 10 years a much developed and economically strong Himachal would be handed over to the future generation', said Sukhu.
"We have to work untidily to achieve the theme for the 2023 World Water Day accelerating the change to solve the water and sanitation crisis, which calls for the public to alter the way they use, consume, and manage water in their lives," he added.
The Chief Minister honored the representatives of 50 Gram Panchayats of nine districts and Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSC) who have signed an MoU with Jal Shakti Vibhag regarding the operation, maintenance, and distribution of drinking water under various water supply schemes through Gram Panchayats.
Block resource coordinators Ambedika Sharma, Renu Bala, Poonam Saini, Rajinder Kaur, Pradeep Kumar from district Una, Jagdish Chandi and Joginder Singh from district Shimla, Chitter Rekha from district Kinnaur were also honored for their excellent work in coordination with VWSCs.
The Chief Minister also administered a pledge regarding the conservation of water and contribution to preserving nature on the occasion.
Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri also emphasized that the sources of drinking water are limited and thus conservation of water is a collective responsibility and the state government is making continuous efforts to conserve water.
"Despite spending Rs. 5500 crores under the Jal Jeevan Mission during the BJP regime, drinking water was still a dream for many households in far-flung areas of the State," he said.
Mukesh Agnihotri said that the present government has imposed a water cess to increase its revenue and the state is legally competent to levy this cess.
He said that this would go a long way in resource mobilization and sufficient funds would be available for the welfare of the people.
"Despite the decision of the Supreme Court in favour of Himachal Pradesh, to date, the State has been deprived of its rights in the projects of BBMB. The Chief Minister is also in favour of resolving the matter through dialogue," he said.
Earlier welcoming the Chief Minister and other dignitaries, Secretary Jal Shakti Vibhag, Amitabh Awasthi highlighted the importance of World Water day.
Chief Engineer cum director Jal Shakti Vibhag Joginder Singh Chauhan presented a vote of thanks.
Representatives of various Gram Panchayats, BRCs and Officers of the Jal Shakti Vibhag and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. (ANI)