Providing safe drinking an inescapable duty of the govt: Kataria

New Delhi, 10 April (IANS) Stressing the severity of the crisis of paucity of clean and safe drinking water across the globe, Minister of Sate for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria has urged the BRICS Nations to learn from each other’s valuable experience in handling this crisis as 2.2 billion people in the world struggle to have access to safe drinking water.

While addressing an event, Kataria highlighted the role of BRICS Nations in resolving common problems like lack of access to safe drinking water and said providing safe drinking water to people is an inescapable duty of any government and also a Human Right as enshrined in UNGA resolution.

He was speaking at a webinar organised by BRICS International Forum, a civil organisation on Friday.

The webinar was attended by Prof Prince William Mishiki, Minister of DR Congo, Yulia Berg Co- Founder of The International Business Acceleration Centre, Russia, Purnima Anand President, BRICS International Forum

President, International Federation For Indo-Russian Youth Club, Volker Tschapke Consultant for Foreign Trade Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade Global Economic Trade (Germany) amongst others.

Kataria cited the example of Cape Town, South Africa, which became the first major city to have run out of water in the year 2017-18, to highlight the gravity of water crisis being faced in the world today. He also mentioned Brazil where around 3 million population still lacks access to safe drinking water.

“The situation in India is far from satisfactory as merely 3.23 crore rural households had piped water supply till 2019, providing a minimum of 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd). Russia on the other hand, has 1/4th of the world’s fresh surface and ground water sources and provides 248 lpcd water to its residents for domestic use,” he said.

Kataria informed the esteemed dignitaries that realizing the true importance of providing access to assured and safe drinking water to each rural household, the government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched an ambitious scheme to cover all rural households with piped water supply by the year 2024.

In August 2019, India launched Jal Jeevan Mission ( Water is life ) Scheme with a total outlay of Rs 3.60 lakh Crore that is around 48 billion dollar, he added.

He informed that in a short span of one and a half years, India has provided over 40 million piped water connections to rural households. At this pace, it is expected to meet the ambitious target of covering all rural households well within the time limit.