Tue, 07 Apr 2020

New Delhi [India] July 15 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday suggested calling an all-party meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to evolve a consensus and formulate a national strategy for tackling the deteriorating water situation in the country.

The Chief Minister made the suggestion during a courtesy call on Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat here.

Water is a national problem which needs to be discussed and resolved at the national level, the Chief Minister told media persons after meeting Shekhawat.

"The all-party meetings could be held region-wise to make the process more streamlined and effective, with the Prime Minister chairing each of them," said Captain Amarinder, expressing concern over the deteriorating water crisis in the country.

These meetings, he said, would help in developing consensus on steps needed to save the natural resource.

In response to a question, the Chief Minister said the Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (SYL) issue was not discussed during his meeting with the Union Minister as it was sub-judice.

The Chief Minister said that the problem of Punjab's Buddha Nallah came up for discussion and he had assured Shekhawat that work was in progress to clean it. The state government had set a two-year deadline for the task, he added.

He told the Union Minister that STPs were being operationalized to ensure that the Buddha Nallah is not further messed up by affluent from various industries. The dyeing industry, he said, was a major cause for the problem.

Shekhawat appreciated the `Punjab bijli bachao paisa kamao' scheme. Pointing out that 85% of water goes into irrigation; he said if 10% of the water used for agriculture could be saved, India's water crisis could be solved for the next 50 years. Punjab, he said, could take the lead in this campaign, with incentivization playing a major role in encouraging people to save water.

Amarinder said that the state government was planning to launch a major programme of groundwater recharging by using defunct tube wells.

The Union Minister also asked Punjab to reduce the area under paddy cultivation, in response to which the CM stressed the need for the central government to support the purchase of alternate crops like maize on MSP. (ANI)

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