National Seminar on Multi-Purpose Development of Water Resources and Present Challenges Held
Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti has called for water revolution in the country. Addressing a seminar on Multi-purpose Development of Water Resources and Present Challenges in New Delhi today the Minister expressed concern over drought in certain parts of the country. She directed officials of Central Water Commission and other allied agencies in her Ministry to visit every block of drought affected areas in the country to chalk out a detailed plan to face this challenge. The Minister said we should have this kind of planning for every block of the country to effectively face drought in future.
Sushri Bharti also announced that 100 villages dominated by SCs in the country will be selected under Jal Gram Scheme for water conservation. Jal Gram is a schemes under Jal Kranti Abhiyan of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, in which two water starved villages will be selected from every district in the country for all round development of water resources. The Minister referred to little known contributions of Baba Saheb in water resources sector and announced that from next year her Ministry will celebrate Dr. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary as Jal Divas.
The seminar was organised by Central Water Commission under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation as a part of 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Dr. BR Ambedkar to highlight Ambedkar’s contribution in water sector and discuss the way forward to realize his vision.
Eminent experts from water Resources sector such as Shri AC Tyagi, Secretary General ICID, Prof. Sukhadeo Thorat, Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research and Professor Emeritus, Centre for the Study of Regional Development JNU, Shri Suresh Chandra, Former Chairman CWC and Dr. Amarjeet Singh, Special Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources spoke at the seminar.
Shri Ramvilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat, Union Minister of State for Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation , Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Prof. (Dr.) Ram Shankar Katheria, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Shri Udit Raj, Member of Parliament and National Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST also spoke on the occasion.
Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar is well known as the main architect of India’s Constitution and leader of oppressed. However, his contribution in the field of management of India’s water resources is not widely known. During his tenure as Member (Labour) of the Viceroy’s Executive Council (1942-1946), Dr. Ambedkar steered formation of a definite All-India Policy for the development of water resources in the country. In order to further this task, he laid foundation of Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission (CWINC) which was forerunner of the present day Central Water Commission (CWC).
Dr. Ambedkar advocated the concept of River Valley Authority or corporation for integrated development of the rivers. He introduced the concept of multi-purpose development of river basin in the country and his efforts in this direction have culminated with multipurpose development of Damodar, Mahanadi and other rivers immediately after independence. He was instrumental in inclusion of Entry 56 of List 1 and introduction of article 262 regarding the adjudication of disputes related to waters of inter-sate rivers or river valleys.