Economy India
News Digest

Yamuna will be much cleaner in Delhi by the end of December 23

Dr Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog today stressed that reuse of untreated water will be vital to meet urbanization, agricultural irrigation and untreated water has a damaging effect on our natural water sources like rivers. “NITI Aayog has already set up a composite water management index and this forms part of our effort to hold the mirror up to the states within the framework of cooperative and competitive federalism,” he added.

Speaking on the water use efficiency, Dr Bery stated that freshwater supply is a fixed quantum and bulk of it is used by agriculture. Our efficiency of water use in agriculture is much lower than other water stressed countries, he added. “The issue of how to reflect the opportunity cost of water so that it is used frugal and is unexplored in India,” he asserted.

On the issue of wastewater management, the Vice Chairman said that the NITI Aayog is working with the Ministry of Jal Shakti in working on a policy framework and in many countries, wastewater is sourced especially in applying in the irrigation in the farmland. “In India though, wastewater is considered as an untapped and unvalued resource and only some states are using treated used wastewater for industrial purpose,” he emphasized.

Mr G Asok Kumar, DG, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti said that the department is now moving beyond rivers, and we are also looking at tributaries as well. “Our biggest challenge after Ganga is now cleaning Yamuna. By the end of December 2023, Yamuna will be much cleaner in Delhi, and we will also be completing 1,300 million capacities of STP facilities by March 2023,” he added.

He also asserted the need to emphasize two new R’s to be included (Rejuvenate and Respect for water) apart from the established 3 R’s (recycle, reuse and reduce) of water use.

Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Past President, FICCI said that India’s water challenges are multifaceted and diverse. India is the largest groundwater extractor in the world and 85 per cent of drinking water supplies dependent on groundwater sources. “Increased urbanization and industrialization are adding further stress on the available water resources. Freshwater must be made available for human consumption only and for the other usages, we must look forward to the alternative and reliable resources of water and wastewater is one such resource,” she added.

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