The Indian Government has formed a new unified Ministry to tackle all the issues related to water – The Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- The Jal Shakti Ministry was formed by merging the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- The aim of the new ministry is to tackle India’s water woes and provide clean drinking water to all.
- It is also mandated to handle international water sharing issues, inter-state river water disputes, Namami Gange Project, etc.
- The new Ministry was formed as part of the BJP’s poll campaign pledge of handling water woes in the country in an integrated manner.
Can A Unified Ministry Bring the Desired Results?
- The Namami Gange project was launched under the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation.
- Over Rs. 20,000 crore is set to be spent under the project to clean the Ganga by 2020.
- But, the actual results on the ground shows that the pollution levels in the river have not abated.
- The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation which has the mandate to provide clean drinking water is inter alia related to river Ganga, the largest source of water in northern India.
- By bringing various ministries related to water under one umbrella that paves the way for the integration of water0-related projects experts believe that this is a good move.
- A unified ministry will help in having an integrated data management system related to water.
- It will also help in the optimal utilization of resources and better project implementation.
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- The issues related to water are spread over various ministries of the government.
- For example, conservation of rivers was entrusted with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Similarly, urban water supply is dealt with by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- Bringing all such issues under an umbrella ministry will take time.
- The new Jam Shakti Ministry is a beginning which will in the future pave the way for an umbrella ministry that tackles all the issues related to the water where effective and timely decisions can be taken.
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