Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has said that alternate technology is the need of the hour for mega water conveyance systems in the country. Inaugurating an international workshop on the “Use of Large Diameter Pipes for Mega Water Conveyance System” in New Delhi today the Minister stressed the need for developing water grids in the country on the lines of power grid and road networks. Gadkari said that we do not have shortage of water in the country but lack proper planning and management of water resources. He said 25 to 30% of agricultural workforce in the country migrates from rural to urban areas only due to problems of irrigation and resultant difficulties related to agricultural. Referring to the importance of efficient use of water resources through drip irrigation the Minister cited the example of Madhya Pradesh which has achieved agricultural growth of 23% as against the national average of four per cent by promoting drip irrigation. The Minister referred to the 30 proposed projects of river connectivity in the country at an expenditure of Rs. 8 lakh crore. He said “The challenge is to find suitable cost effective, environment friendly technology for efficient water transfer without compromising the quality”.
Dr. Satyapal Singh, Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation said that ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ and ‘Per drop more Crop’ is the highest priority of our government as it is the dream of our Prime Minister to double the income of farmers by the year 2022. He said that irrigation and water conveyance through canals is very costly and it takes a lot of time due to environment and forest clearances and land acquisition problems. The Minister said Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have started using pipes for water conveyance in place of canal. Dr Singh urged the experts to find cost effective and eco-friendly alternatives to fulfil the objective of ‘Har Khet ko Pani’.
Shri UP Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation highlighted the benefits of large diameter pipes for water conveyance and said that many canals in the country are being constructed for many years and are still not complete. As opposed to canal systems, piped conveyance of water does not require land acquisition and forest clearance. The problems of contamination of water is also greatly reduced, as also loss due to evaporation, he said. The Secretary said the country needs cheaper, cost effective and eco-friendly technologies. Shri Singh hoped that experts will find such solution in the workshop and assured that his Ministry will take quick action on them.
The day long workshop has been organized by WAPCOS and National Water Development Agency jointly under the aegis of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The workshop is being attended by key stake holders like manufacturing companies, organizations involved in water asset management, engineering specialists, water resources departments of Central and State Governments and private companies and experts from USA, Brazil, Italy, China and South Africa Indian and foreign experts will present papers at the workshop.