NIRDPR organizes “Azadi ka Amrit Mahostav” webinar on Water Policy Sins Independence-Implications for Rural India
Hyderabad: Centre for Natural Resource Management, Climate Change & Disaster Management (CNRM, CC & DM), NIRDPR Organized a national webinar on “Water Policy Since Independence-Implications for Rural India” on to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav”. 148 participants from different walks of life like Government officials, academicians, experts and civil societies working on the area of water management throughout the country participated in the event.
The National Webinar was inaugurated by Dr G. Narendra Kumar, Director General, NIRDPR. Dr Narendra Kumar in his opening remarks said that though India has more than 18% of the world’s population, but has only 4% of world’s renewable water resources and 2.4% of world’s land area.
There are further limits on utilizable quantities of water owing to uneven distribution over time and space. In addition, there are challenges of frequent floods and droughts in one or the other part of the country.
He emphasised the need for a comprehensive policy to address the issues of water demands in water stressed areas, governance issues on management of water resources, temporal and spatial variation in availability of water due to climate change, access to safe and clean drinking water, judicious utilization of ground water and minimizing water pollution. He also highlighted on the model practices adopted by different states on water conservation.
Mr. G. Asok Kumar, Additional Secretary & Mission Director at National Water Mission, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India addressed the webinar as Guest of Honour in which he highlighted priorities of Government of India to address the critical issues on water conservation and its efficient use as per the national water policy to secure the livelihood of rural households and boosting rural economy.
He discussed the roles of multiple stakeholders like government departments, rural local bodies, farmers and community-based institutions etc to promote water security in water stressed areas. Sri Asok Kumar enlightened the participants on “Catch the Rain” campaign of India and suggested the way forward for rural areas in addressing the pressing needs of irrigation and drinking water.
Dr Anamika Barua, Professor of IIT, Guwahati delivered the key note address on Implications of water policies on rural India since Independence.
Dr Barua presented the gap between development of water resources and various policy efforts since independence. She expressed the ray of hope in redrafting the National Water Policy, 2012 with rigorous consultation process among various stakeholders on multidisciplinary and intersectoral approach by integrating other critical issues of water management like gender and sustainable development goals. She emphasised the need to have an evidence based futuristic water policy.
The webinar was organised by the team of faculties of CNRM, CC & DM of NIRDPR, Hyderabad led by Prof Ravindra Gavali, Head of the centre. Senior officials of Government of India, state governments, academicians and representatives of civil societies participated in the event.