On Monday, several members of the Rajya Sabha raised the issue of the drinking water crisis currently affecting various parts of India.
The BJP’s Satyanarayan Jatiya claimed during the Zero Hour that drinking water shortage had emerged as a major issue in various parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
During this speech, Mr. Jatiya urged the central government to come up with a permanent solution to the problem of insufficient drinking water for the populace. He suggested the implementation of five prominent river-linking projects. This, he said, would optimize water usage for irrigation and drinking and thus, will maximize the availability of water in all parts of the country.
Finding a Permanent Solution to Water Scarcity
His fellow party member, Ashok Bajpai, supported Jatiya and cited the NITI Aayog report that claims the nation faces an impending water crisis which may affect millions and last many years. Another BJP MP, Saroj Pandey of Chhattisgarh, said that the citizens must be made aware of the importance of rainwater harvesting for the purpose of recharging the groundwater table.
Others, including Samajwadi Party’s Rewati Raman Singh, also asked the ruling government to intervene as soon as possible in order to prevent further distress amongst the populace. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Chairman, Rajya Sabha, called for notice to be given after consultations, so that a discussion might be organized in the parliament.
However, while the interlinking of rivers and rainwater harvesting may help recharge the groundwater table in the long run, an immediate solution still needs to be found for the millions living without adequate drinking water around the country.
This is why the issue was raised by Rajya Sabha MPs during the Zero Hour meeting. The members are further expected to hold consultations before giving a notice for discussions to be allowed.
Population Control and the Role of Incentives
Among the Opposition, T Subbarami Reddy of the Congress Party raised the issue of India’s rising population. The country is expected to overtake China in terms of population and become the world’s most populous nation over the next few decades.
In light of this fact, Mr. Reddy demanded that the government must formulate incentives and penalties to promote family planning, as the amount of natural resources is limited, and uncontrolled population growth may lead to greater scarcity across India.
He further noted that the exponential rise in population is putting an unsustainable burden on the ecology and the environment. The economy is also feeling the strain, with unemployment rates on the rise as there are far more job seekers than the workforce currently requires.
According to Mr. Reddy, a reduction in the growth rate of the population could, in the long term, prevent severe water crisis in India.
With 600 million Indians grappling for drinking water under the scorching summer sun, water conservation must be the first priority of the government. Water can be conserved, recycled, and harvested in a number of ways. Some countries of the world recycle sewage water for irrigation purposes, while others fulfill agricultural needs by preventing water pollution in rivers.
Thus, the Rajya Sabha MPs concluded that the government must formulate sufficient incentives for citizens to harvest rainwater, conserve groundwater, and recycle waste water whenever possible to eradicate the problem of drinking water crisis.